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Metropolitan Opera Debuts “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” First Performance Of An Opera By A Black Composer

Zenith Richards, Met Opera

Works & Process, the performing arts series at the Guggenheim, begins its fall 2021 Season with a return to evening performances in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Peter B. Lewis Theater this September and October at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Following a spring season featuring robust in-person rotunda performances at a time when theaters remained dark, this fall Works & Process will resume its signature behind-the-scenes, artist-drive programs, uniquely blending performance highlights with insightful artists discussions all prior to premiere. Tickets on sale now for September and October programs at Additional programs will be announced later in the fall.

Works & Process programs will be 60 minutes, ticketed at full capacity, and require everyone to be fully vaccinated. All individuals will be required to wear a face mask at all times. At this time, children under the age of 12, for whom there is currently no available vaccination, will not be permitted to attend.

The Metropolitan Opera: “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” by Terence Blanchard, libretto by Kasi Lemmons on Monday, Sept. 20, 7:30 pm. Ahead of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2021–22 season, learn more about the opening night production “Fire Shut Up in My Bones”—the Met’s first performance of an opera by a Black composer.

Written by Grammy Award–winning jazz musician and composer Terence Blanchard, this adaptation of Charles M. Blow’s moving memoir features a libretto by filmmaker Kasi Lemmons. The opera tells a poignant and profound story about a young man’s journey to overcome a life of trauma and hardship. James Robinson and Camille A. Brown co-direct this new staging; Brown, who is also the production’s choreographer, becomes the first Black director to create a mainstage Met production. Prior to its premiere, General Manager Peter Gelb moderates a discussion with members of the creative team and cast members present highlights.   

New York City Ballet: Sidra Bell and Andrea MillerSunday, Sept. 26, 7:30 pm. Just days ahead of New York City Ballet’s Fall Fashion Gala, choreographers Sidra Bell’s and Andrea Miller’s illuminate their first-ever works for the stage at NYCB. Bell’s collaboration features costumes by Brooklyn-based designer Christopher John Rogers, and Miller’s collaboration with Indigenous Colombian singer Lido Pimienta features costumes by Paris-based Colombian-American designer Esteban Cortázar.

Both will premiere on Sept. 30. NYCB company members will perform excerpts ahead of the premiere, and Associate Artistic Director Wendy Whelan will moderate a discussion with Bell and Miller.  

The Santa Fe Opera: “M. Butterfly” by Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang Monday, Oct. 18, 7:30 pm. Join composer Huang Ruo and writer David Henry Hwang as they discuss their newest collaboration, “M. Butterfly” Inspired by the true story of a French diplomat who carried on a 20-year love affair with a star of the Peking Opera, “M. Butterfly” is based on Hwang’s 1988 Pulitzer Prize finalist and Tony Award–winning Broadway play of the same name. Hear excerpts ahead of the production’s world premiere as part of Santa Fe Opera’s 2022 season.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.