LINCOLN CENTER, Manhattan — Opera is filled with tales of growing up, confronting and overcoming adversity.
“Fire Shut Up In My Bones” celebrated opening night Monday as the Metropolitan Opera welcomed audience members after being closed due to the pandemic.
Composer Terence Blanchard attended the performance and spoke to PIX11 before the show.
It is the first production by a Black composer in the Met’s 136 year history.
“It’s an eye opening thing and I can’t put it into words. I didn’t know I was the first. It’s amazing that it took this long,” he said.
Blanchard is a 6-time Grammy winner and a jazz legend with his trumpet and band. He has collaborated with Spike Lee to score the director’s movies and received an Oscar nomination.
This is his second opera. He’s right at home and wants all stories to be told.
The work is an adaptation of Charles M. Blow’s memoir, and features a libretto by filmmaker Kasi Lemmons. It tells the story of 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.
The opening night was live-streamed to audiences in Times Square and — for the first time — to Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem.