Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Metropolitan Opera Cancels 2020-21 Season But Will Return With First Ever Opera by a Black Composer


Good news and bad news at the Metropolitan Opera.

First the bad news: they’ve cancelled the season right through May 2021. No opera. Nothing. Just the streaming old performances. The reason is the pandemic, and how to bring people into the Opera House and on stage without contaminating everyone.

Now, the good news: when they return in September 2021, the Met will stage its first opera by a black composer, Terence Blanchard with a libretto by famed black director Kasi Lemmons. It’s called “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” Blanchard is such a beloved, respected, and popular composer, this is really great news. The directors are James Robinson and Camille A. Brown. Brown, the Met’s first black director, is also the choreographer.

The Met is really getting into diversity in a big way. (Yes, it’s the year 2020, can you believe this just happening now?) They’ve named three black composers—Valerie Coleman, Jessie Montgomery, and Joel Thompson—to the Metropolitan Opera / Lincoln Center Theater New Works commissioning program, and also announced the commission of the noted African American visual artist Rashid Johnson to create large-scale artworks that will be on display inside the opera house during the 2021–22 season.

Now that the Met has done this, what about Broadway? I’d say this is a bad sign for Broadway shows hoping to re-open next spring.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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