Black Composer’s First Met Opera screened on October 23 and 30 at Catamount | Entertainment

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ST. JOHNSBURY – Catamount Arts will screen a black composer’s very first work on the Metropolitan Opera stage, live on Saturday, October 23, with a encore performance on October 30.

“Fire Shut Up in my Bones,” by Grammy winner and jazz composer Terence Blanchard, opened on September 27. Washington post nicknamed opening night, “a defining moment for American opera“.

Blanchard’s second opera, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones”, takes the audience on a deep, often painful musical and dramatic journey. To tell this story, Blanchard evokes a sound world that weaves the idioms of jazz and gospel, incisive and incisive melodies and a complex orchestral palette.

Based on New York Times Columnist Charles M. Blow’s memoir of his turbulent upbringing in Louisiana, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” is indicative of Blanchard’s commitment to presenting work relevant to the black community. “To create art that has meaning, it has to be part of the community, it has to be part of your world,” says Blanchard. “I watch what we do as a documentary maker so to speak… you can help heal people through this process of creating something so beautiful and powerful. (T) that has always been my mission.

Blanchard has deep roots in jazz and has toured with legends such as Lionel Hampton and Art Blakely, but his many works defy categorization. He is particularly famous for his close collaboration with director Spike Lee, for whom he composed 20 films, representing barely a third of the film scores written by Blanchard. Blanchard was introduced to opera by his father, an avid fan and collector of boxed albums, Blanchard and his siblings were not allowed to touch, but the whole family enjoyed on weekends.

“Fire Shut Up in My Bones” is conducted by Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and features a libretto that is filmmaker Kasi Lemmons’ first foray into opera.

To get tickets to see ‘Fire Shut Up in My Bones’ on October 23 or 30, or to view Catamount’s COVID security protocol requiring masks, valid ID, and proof of vaccination or results negative PCR test results, visit www.catamountarts.org or call 748-2600.


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