A touching tale of a family broken by violence and how we can process grief, Blue is an emotional powerhouse of an opera that’s not to be missed. If you like a tearjerker with a heart, we think you’ll love the opera Blue.
Read up on Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s opera before our 2022/23 Season production.
With tickets starting from just £10, book yours now for Blue at the London Coliseum from 20 April – 4 May 2023.
From Broadway to Opera House
Born 1961, Jeanine Tesori is a composer most known for her musical theatre compositions, including the Tony Award-winning Fun Home; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Caroline, or Change and Shrek the Musical, though she is by no means a stranger to the operatic medium.
In 2011, Tesori was commissioned by Glimmerglass Festival to write A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck, an opera which details the real life couple of Eugene O’Neill and his wife Carlotta Monterey, whose arguments lead them to be isolated outside in a blizzard – separated and hallucinating. Glimmerglass later commissioned Tesori again in 2015, leading to the composition of Blue.
Make a stand
The opera follows a black Harlem-based family, which upon the beginning of Act 1 are expecting a baby boy, and are hopeful for his future despite their friend’s concerns and jealousy. 16 years later, the Son has become a non-violent political protester, which leads to clashes with his Father, who is a policeman and suffers repercussions from his son’s actions.
The Son is shot by a police officer at one of his protests, and succumbs to his wounds, leaving his parents to grieve in their individual ways: the Mother with her friends, and the Father seeking a Reverend for input. The opera culminates with the son’s funeral, a breathtaking and heartbreaking finale to an emotionally charged opera.
A stellar libretto by Tazewell Thompson
As mentioned previously, Tesori worked on Blue for the Glimmerglass Festival, and when Tazewell Thompson, who had previously directed several operas for the festival, was approached by Tesori to suggest a librettist, he suggested a collaboration with the composer himself.
Interestingly, under Thompson’s initial drafts, the Father was originally a saxophone player, but Tesori requested his role changed to that of the police officer, which puts the relationship between Father and Son more directly at odds.
This complex relationship between father and son is just one of the many reasons that Tesori’s and Thompson’s Blue is one of the most popular contemporary operas of our time – winning the award for ‘Best New Opera’ at the Music Critics Association of North America 2020.
Book your tickets now for Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s award winning opera Blue, at the London Coliseum from 20 April – 4 May 2023.