“A new opera, Blue, grapples with a … contemporary tragedy—the killing of an unarmed black man at the hands of a police officer,” writes Jeff Lunden in a Sunday (7/21) National Public Radio audio and text story. In the opera, “premiered on July 14 at the Glimmerglass Festival … the son becomes a rebellious teenager and is shot and killed by a police officer at a protest.… Tazewell Thompson, Blue’s director as well as the writer of its libretto, says that he’s wanted to explore the opera’s more private, familial themes for some time now…. Composer Jeanine Tesori, who wrote the score, … says, ‘I haven’t seen many stories about African American police officers and the incredible challenge that they face.’ … Thompson lives in Harlem, where the opera is set and he’s had his own run-ins with the police…. Thompson spoke with both black police officers and parents…. Those conversations are behind a scene in Blue when the father … gives his son ‘the talk’ … about how to behave when he sees a cop.”
Click here to read the current issue of Symphony magazine, which reports on music written in response to social-justice issues, including Joel Thompson’s Seven Last Words Of The Unarmed.
Posted July 25, 2019