Hackney Empire and ENO

Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD

In the empty twilight between life and death, saxophonist Charlie Parker composes his final masterpiece.

Hackney Empire and English National Opera present the European Premiere of Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD, a jazz-infused chamber ‘be-bopera’ by Daniel Schnyder with libretto by award winning African-American poet Bridgette A. Wimberly.

Lawrence Brownlee stars as the legendary saxophonist—a role crafted around the effortless, improvisational style that makes him one of music’s most sought after tenors.

In the empty twilight between life and death, saxophonist Charlie Parker composes his final masterpiece, revisiting the inspirations, demons and women who fueled his creative genius.

Set in the famed NYC jazz club Birdland, the opera is as uncompromising in its artistic vision as the “Yardbird” himself.

'A swift-paced chamber opera with a pulsing, jazz-infused score'

The New York Times

'Lawrence Brownlee commands the stage in the title role'

The Wall Street Journal

Running Time
1hrs 30mins

There is no interval.

Tickets available from £15-75 plus booking fee.*

Performances at Hackney Empire.

Sung in English, with surtitles projected above the stage

For more information, please contact Hackney Empire Box Office on 020 8985 2424.

*Hackney Empire charges a £1 online booking fee per ticket, or £1.25 per ticket by phone.

Commissioned by Opera Philadelphia. European Premiere presented in a collaboration between Hackney Empire and English National Opera.


Creative Team

Clark Rundell


Ron Daniel


Daniel Schnyder


Bridgette A. Wimberly


Riccardo Hernandez

Set Designer

Emily Rebholz

Costume Designer

Scott Zielinski

Lighting Designer

David Zimmerman

Wig and Make up Design


Lawrence Brownlee

Charlie Parker

Angela Brown

Addie Parker

Rachel Sterrenberg

Chan Parker

Chrystal E Williams

Rebecca Parker

Will Liverman

Dizzy Gillespie

Elena Perroni

Doris Parker

Julie Miller

Baroness Nica