Jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard tweeted this afternoon that he had just finished the writing of a new opera called Champion. The work is set to premier June 15-30 2013 at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
This is from Blanchard’s Facebook page this afternoon:
Just finished writing my first Opera (Champion). It’s been an amazing journey. A very emotional one as well. I grew hearing Opera in the house because of my dad, who was a big lover of the music. Now to be at this point in my life being involved in this project makes me miss him more. This story is one of triumph and strength. I’m very thankful to Opera St Louis for giving me this chance to do something like this. We still have more to do, but the major portion is done. Gonna be a hell of a Miller night tonight. Yes yes yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The five-time Grammy winner Blanchard has been collaborating on the project with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Michael Cristofer, and has based the story on prizefighter Emile Griffith. The work will be directed by James Robinson and will star Denyce Graves, Aubrey Allicock, Arthur Woodley, Robert Orth, and Meredith Arwady.
In addition to his work in jazz, Blanchard has scored several films for Spike Lee, and currently has original music on Broadway with his revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, and previously composed original music for the Broadway play The Motherf**ker With the Hat.