The Metropolitan Opera announced today that it will present a free, live simulcast of the Opening Night performance of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones-the first opera by a Black composer ever performed by the Met-on Monday, September 27 at 6:30pm ET in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park. The performance will also be seen on multiple screens in Times Square, a tradition that returns for its 15th season. Approximately 1,700 seats will be available in Marcus Garvey Park, and 2,000 seats will be available in Times Square, all on a first-come, first-served basis. These audiences will be joining the 3,600 audience members who will be attending inside the opera house.
The Marcus Garvey Park live transmission will be preceded by an in-person discussion at the park, featuring Fire Shut Up in My Bones composer Blanchard and librettist Kasi Lemmons. All guests must provide proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 or a negative Covid-19 PCR test administered within 72 hours prior to entry. Masks are recommended. Free seating is available on Duffy Square and the Broadway Plazas between 43rd and 44th Streets and 46th and 47th Streets in Times Square. The participating screens in Times Square include ABC SuperSign; American Eagle Times Square; Branded Cities’ Broadway Plaza Digital; Clear Channel Spectacolor HD 126, 127, and 128; EXPRESS Times Square; Jamestown, L.P. and New Tradition. Masks are also recommended in Times Square, but neither vaccinations nor tests are required there.
“We are very pleased to welcome audiences for the Met in Marcus Garvey Park for the very first time,” said Met General Manager Peter Gelb. “Our Opening Night will be historic for the Met both in the opera house and in Harlem.”
The Marcus Garvey Park presentation is supported by The Ford Foundation.
This program is also presented in partnership with NYC Parks and SummerStage.
The live transmission to Times Square is made possible with the cooperation of the City of New York, with leadership support provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, and additional support from Bank of America.
About Fire Shut Up in My Bones ~ Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones is the first work by a Black composer to be presented at the Met. Based on Charles M. Blow’s moving memoir of the same name and featuring a libretto by Kasi Lemmons, the new staging is co-directed by James Robinson and Camille A. Brown. Brown, who is also the production’s choreographer, becomes the first Black director to create a mainstage Met production. Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a stellar cast, led by Will Liverman as Charles, Angel Blue as Destiny/Loneliness/Greta, and Latonia Moore as Billie.
Fire Shut Up in My Bones tells a poignant and profound story about a young man’s journey to overcome a lifetime of trauma and hardship. The opera follows Charles through his adolescence and ultimately leads to a fateful moment: when he must decide whether to break free from his trauma and begin to rebuild his life.
Fire Shut Up in My Bones is a co-production of the Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. The production is commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera. The opera premiered to great acclaim and was originally commissioned by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, co-commissioned by Jazz St. Louis. The creative team includes set designer Allen Moyer, costume designer Paul Tazewell, lighting designer Christopher Akerlind, and projection designer Greg Emetaz.
Following opening night on September 27, seven additional performances run through October 23. The performance on October 8 will be conducted by Kazem Abdullah.
Works & Process: Fire Shut Up in My Bones on Monday, September 20th at 7:30pm at the Guggenheim Museum, Peter B. Lewis Theater. An evening of conversation and performance at the Guggenheim Museum will be moderated by Met General Manager Peter Gelb with Terence Blanchard, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, James Robinson, Charles Blow, Kasi Lemmons, Will Liverman, Angel Blue, and Latonia Moore. Guests must provide proof of vaccination again Covid-19, and masks will be required. For more information and tickets, please click here.
Virtual Panel Discussion & Performance: Fire Shut Up in My Bones, Tuesday, September 28th, presented in collaboration with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Following Opening Night, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture hosts a virtual discussion and performance with members of the Fire Shut Up in My Bones cast and creative team. Further details will be announced later.
Fire Shut Up in My Bones Broadcasts in Cinema, Radio and Online. The performance of Fire Shut Up in My Bones on Saturday, October 23, will be transmitted live to movie theaters around the globe as part of the Met’s Live in HD series.
The September 27 and October 4, 13, and 19 performances of Fire Shut Up in My Bones will be broadcast live on Met Opera Radio on Sirius XM Channel 355. Audio from the September 27 and October 19 performances will also be streamed live on the Met’s website, metopera.org. The October 23 performance will be broadcast over the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network on Saturday, January 8, 2022, marking the network broadcast premiere of the work.
For more information about Fire Shut Up in My Bones, please click here.
“The 5 Browns – Live in Central Park” will feature five Steinway concert grand pianos and eight piano pieces—from Beethoven to Gershwin to Bernstein—performed by Steinway Artists Deondra, Desirae, Gregory, Melody, and Ryan Brown. The 5 Browns were the first family of five siblings ever admitted to The Juilliard School, and since 2002, the quintet has delivered on its promise to “wake up classical music” through international tours that have brought critical and popular acclaim. This family-friendly program is a natural outgrowth of their children’s advocacy work and commitment to delivering classical music to the widest possible audience. Their latest album on the Steinway Label, The Little Tin Box, includes musical favorites from their childhood. This event will take place on Tuesday, September 28th from 7:00-9:00 pm, with doors opening at 6:00pm at Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. This is a Free Event.