Champion - Michigan Opera Theatre

Overview

Terence Blanchard’s “opera in jazz” makes its Detroit Opera House debut March 26. Based on the real story of prized fighter Emile Griffith, Champion is a reflection on the boxer’s life as he struggles with regret, prejudice and the fluidity of sexual and societal morality. Featuring opera star Denyce Graves, Champion is a self-reflective work not to be missed.

Production Highlights:

  • Featuring Denyce Graves as Emelda Griffith and Arthur Woodley Emile Griffith
  • “Opera in jazz” composed by jazz musician Terence Blanchard
  • Conductor: Kazem Abdullah
  • Director: James Robinson

Fast Facts

Opera in two acts
Music by Terence Blanchard
Libretto by Michael Cristofer
Premiered 2013 in Webster Groves

This production
Conducted by Kazem Abdullah
Directed by James Robinson
Running time about 2 hours 20 minutes including intermission

Mature subject matter; strong language. Recommended for age 15 and up.

Artists

Denyce Graves

Emelda Griffith

Arthur Woodley

Emile Griffith

Aubrey Allicock

Young Emile Griffith

Victor Ryan Robertson

Benny “The Kid” Paret/ Benny Paret, Jr.

Meredith Arwady

Kathy Hagan

Kimwana Doner

Blanche/ Sadie Griffith

Kazem Abdullah

Conductor

James Robinson

Director
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Fast Facts

Opera in two acts
Music by Terence Blanchard
Libretto by Michael Cristofer
Premiered 2013 in Webster Groves

This production
Conducted by Kazem Abdullah
Directed by James Robinson
Running time about 2 hours 20 minutes including intermission

Mature subject matter; strong language. Recommended for age 15 and up.