Tuesday, June 11, 2013

St. Louis premiere of Terence Blanchard's opera gets national media attention

Trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard's new opera Champion, which will receive its world premiere performance this Saturday, June 15 at Opera Theatre St. Louis, got some national attention today in an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Jazz Times magazine recently also ran a short item about the premiere, while Opera News had a more extensive piece.

Blanchard also appeared last month on PBS' The Tavis Smiley Show to discuss Champion and his new album on Blue Note records, Magnetic. You can see that interview in the embedded video window below.

Here locally, St. Louis magazine's Stef Russell interviewed Blanchard and librettist Michael Cristofer, and the St. Louis Beacon's Patricia Rice talked with baritone Aubrey Allicock about his role as one of the singers portraying the opera's protagonist, real-life professional boxer Emile Griffith.

Meanwhile, the Post-Dispatch's Sarah Bryan Miller filed a preview story about the production; an interview with singer Denyce Graves, who plays Griffith's mother; and a story recapping a roundtable discussion with Allicock and fellow singers Arthur Woodley, who plays the older version of Griffith, and Robert Orth, who portrays Griffith's boxing trainer.

Champion will be performed a total of six times, starting with the premiere on Saturday and continuing through the end of the month. For performance dates and times and ticket information, see the OTSL website.

Blanchard also will play two free outdoor jazz concerts this week in St. Louis, on Wednesday night at the Missouri Botanical Garden and Thursday night at St. Louis Place Park. For more about Blanchard and those concerts, see this post from a couple of Saturday ago.

(Edited after posting.)

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