Composer Anthony Davis, now in the spotlight with new “Malcolm X” and “The Central Park Five” productions

Posted on: May 13, 2022

“As the orchestra of the Detroit Opera tuned itself for a recent rehearsal, the outline of a vast spacecraft loomed over the pit,” writes Seth Colter Walls in Thursday’s (5/12) New York Times. “Anthony Davis’s opera ‘X: The Life and Times of Malcom X’ … opens on Saturday at the Detroit Opera House here.… [Director] Robert O’Hara … said that… the spaceship … is a symbolic critique of the opera world, which rarely takes stock of Black composers…. ‘We are actually saying this space cannot hold the opera; we have to crash and take over the space,’ O’Hara said…. After the new staging’s premiere in Detroit, it will travel Opera Omaha … and the Met [Opera in New York], as well as Seattle Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago…. A sizzling new production of [Davis’s 2019 opera ‘The Central Park Five’] … at Portland Opera this spring … is streaming on demand … through May 20. Elsewhere, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project will give its own semi-staged concert performance of ‘X’ on June 17…. With Detroit Opera’s revival of ‘X,’ we may be on the cusp of a broader reappraisal of Davis’s body of work…. ‘I just think that it’s Anthony’s time. It’s been past due for his time,’ O’Hara said.”