Champion - Michigan Opera Theatre

All performances of Champion are canceled.
Reimbursement information here.

Overview

Terence Blanchard’s “opera in jazz” makes its Detroit Opera House debut! Based on the real story of prize 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

 

Champion contains mature subject matter and strong language. Recommended for ages 15 and up.

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

Arthur Woodley

Emile Griffith

Denyce Graves

Emelda Griffith

Aubrey Allicock

Young Emile Griffith

Kimwana Doner

Blanche/ Sadie Griffith

Brian Arreola

Luis Rodrigo Griffith

Victor Ryan Robertson

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

Wayne Tigges

Howie Albert

Meredith Arwady

Kathy Hagen

John Howland-Streng

Little Emile

David Moan

Ring Announcer

Darren Drone
SA

Man in Bar, Young Man

Maverick Lemons

Dancer, Dance Captain

Michael Teasley

Dancer

Andrew Cribbett

Dancer

Rebecca Arends

Dancer

Emily Bezbatchenko

Dancer

Zaire Polk

Little Emile Understudy

Kazem Abdullah

Conductor

James Robinson

Director

Videos

Audio

Images

Sponsors

Champion is presented by

This project is supported in part by awards from:

 

View All

News/Blog

Reviews: Cavalleria rusticana: In Concert

Mary, Auburn Hills – MOT REACHED ANOTHER MILESTONE IN ITS EXTRAORDINARY HISTORY WITH THIS CAVALLARIA RUSTICANA AT THE MEADOWBROOK PAVILION. A too long absent fan base emerged resilient and in full to celebrate with the BATHS OF CARACALLA voices in a matchless display of musical artistry…

Read More
Michael Ching & MOT: One Year Later

We thought we’d look back 15 months to our last staged in-door opera in March of 2020, a double-bill of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Buoso’s Ghost by American composer Michael Ching.

Read More
Love, Secrets and Plots Revealed

April is National Letter Writing Month. Though Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and email are the popular ways to communicate today, opera  often goes “Old School” with the ancient relic of the Handwritten Letter.

Read More
Recalling MOT’s Conductor Tania León

Conductor Tania León made Michigan Opera Theatre history nearly 40 years ago, when she became the first woman to conduct a main-stage production for the company.

Read More

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.

Sponsors

Champion is presented by

This project is supported in part by awards from: