Note: The Kennedy Center announced that its March 2020 performances of Blue will not take place.
Washington National Opera, in a coproduction with The Glimmerglass Festival and Lyric Opera of Chicago, presents Blue, an opera with music by Jeanine Tesori and a libretto by Tazewell Thompson — March 15–28 at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Blue takes place in Harlem, where a couple celebrates the birth of their firstborn child; a boy, black and beautiful. The mother worries for their son's future in today's America, and the father wrestles with his role as a police officer, a "black man in blue." When the son is later killed by a white officer, their fears strike devastatingly close to home.
Tesori's signature and genre-blending style and vivid flashbacks capture the grief of a family and community navigating the turbulent waters of loss at the hands of police. Exploring race, violence, and reconciliation, Blue places timely issues at the forefront of modern opera and invites audiences to the emotional epicenter of their impact.
The Kennedy Center performances, directed by librettist Thompson, feature bass Kenneth Kellogg as The Father, mezzo-soprano Briana Hunter as The Mother, tenor Aaron Crouch as The Son and baritone Gordon Hawkins as The Reverend. John DeMain will conduct.
"The times are fraught. Lit by lightning and divisiveness. Love, family, friends and the church are there when we need them. And we need them now. We need a song to soothe our sorrows as we confront painful, personal truths. We need music in our lives and our children near to help us repair heartache; music to ultimately lift us and celebrate the bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood togetherness."
— Tazewell Thompson
March 15–28, 2020
Washington National Opera
The Kennedy Center
Learn more about Blue with the WNO Performance Guide.
In celebration of Women's History Month, explore our Celebrating Women Composers: A Timeline interactive brochure, which features other works by Jeanine Tesori, Gabriela Lena Frank, Florence Price, Augusta Read Thomas, Du Yun, Missy Mazzoli, and more.