I don’t know enough about football to pun…

Operavore, the Opera-dedicated division of WQXR, New York’s public classical music radio station, will be celebrating March Madness in its own way this week, with a full streaming opera each weekday at 2pm, each having some notable “mad scene”.  The week’s full schedule, from Mozart’s Idomeneo to Bernstein’s Candide, is available here; the Operavore stream can be listened to on the WQXR website.

In keeping with the sports theme, a new opera about Bum Phillips, American football coach, premiered in New York at La MaMa last week, and is up through the end of the month.  Commissioned by the collective Monk Parrots, with music by Peter Stopschinski and libretto by Kirk Lynn, it was apparently live-streamed earlier today  : P  How did I miss that!?

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A Champion’s Opera

Boxer Emile Griffith

Opera companies’ announcements of their next season is like early Christmas for me, and the end of summer provides a mini-offering of season announcements from the summer opera festivals.

The Opera Theater of Saint Louis is one such summer opera festival, and a pretty adventurous one at that; their recently announced 2014 season includes a newly commissioned opera, part of a series initiated by this season’s world premiere…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature&v=Oe-KTfFqqwc&w=350&h=300]

Champion, an “opera in jazz” by Terence Blanchard was based on the true story of Caribbean-American boxer Emile Griffith, a champion welter- and middleweight infamous for beating a 1962 opponent to death.  Griffith’s sexuality had been called into question by his opponent, and he was later severely beaten outside a gay club in 1992, ultimately admitting in a 2005 interview that he’d had relations with both men and women.  Gotta love this poignant quote from Ron Ross’ 2006 biography: Continue reading