The Met: Live in HD presents


by Terence Blanchard
Metropolitan Opera
English w/e.s.t.

Six-time Grammy Award–winning composer Terence Blanchard brings his first opera to the Met after his Fire Shut Up in My Bones made history in the 2021–22 season. Bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green is the young boxer Emile Griffith, who rises from obscurity to become a world champion, and bass-baritone Eric Owens portrays Griffith’s older self, haunted by the ghosts of his past. Soprano Latonia Moore is Emelda Griffith, the boxer’s estranged mother, and mezzo- soprano Stephanie Blythe is the bar owner Kathy Hagan. Yannick Nézet-Séguin returns to the podium to conduct Blanchard’s second Met premiere. Director James Robinson, whose productions of Fire Shut Up in My Bones and Porgy and Bess brought down the house, oversees the staging. Camille A. Brown, whose choreography electrified audiences in Fire and Porgy, also returns.

ChampionThe opera opens in a nursing home in Hempstead, Long Island, in the early 21st century but unfolds largely through extended regressions to important times and places in Griffith’s life: St. Thomas in 1957, New York City from the 1950s to the 1990s, and flashbacks to moments in his international boxing career—from Las Vegas to Paris to Buenos Aires and beyond—in the 1960s.

All of Blanchard’s musical background, from his gospel-infused youth to his experience as a jazz soloist to his mastery as a film composer, comes through in the score of Champion. He employs a compositional approach rooted in—but not limited to—the many different possibilities of jazz itself, from dream-like internal states to rhythm-driven dissonances of the external modern world. Orchestral richness is also evident throughout the score, as are bravura vocal solos, most notable in the Puccinian sweep of young Emile’s stirring Act I aria, “What makes a man a man?”.

Content Advisory: Champion contains adult themes, sexually explicit language, and physical violence.

Saturday, April 29, 2023
This live cinema transmission is part of the Met’s award-winning Live in HD series, bringing opera to movie theaters across the globe.

Saturday, May 27, 2023
Monday, May 29, 2023

To purchase your tickets visit:

Related Posts