Fathom Events and The Metropolitan Opera present live transmission of Terence Blanchard’s opera Champion, based on the dramatic true story of boxer Emile Griffith, to cinemas nationwide Saturday, April 29, at 12:55PM ET
April 24, 2023
Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts cast starring Ryan Speedo Green, Eric Owens, Latonia Moore, and Stephanie Blythe
Denver (April 24, 2023)—Fathom Events and TheMetropolitan Opera present a live transmission of Terence Blanchard’s jazz-inflected opera Champion on Saturday, April 29, at 12:55PM ET as part of The Met: Live in HD series. Champion was the first opera by the seven-time Grammy® Award–winning composer and depicts the double-life of closeted boxer Emile Griffith, from his arrival in New York City from the U.S. Virgin Islands to his rise from hatmaker to world-champion prizefighter to the tragic moment that he killed his opponent in the ring—an act that haunted him for the rest of his life.
Bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green portrays the Young Emile Griffith, and bass-baritone Eric Owens plays Griffith’s tormented older self. The cast also features soprano Latonia Moore as Emelda Griffith, the boxer’s estranged mother; mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as the gay-bar owner Kathy Hagen; tenor Paul Groves as Howie Albert, the factory owner who discovered Emile’s boxing talent; and baritone Eric Greene as both Benny “Kid” Paret, the fighter who taunted Griffith with homophobic slurs, ultimately leading him to unleash a barrage of blows in a 1962 title fight, and Benny Paret, Jr. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director, conducts.
Director James Robinson—whose productions of Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones and the Gershwins’ Porgy and Bessat the Met scored major successes—directs Champion, as he did when the work had its world premiere in St. Louis a decade ago. Camille A. Brown, who electrified audiences with her choreography in Porgyand Fire, also returns.
Gary Halvorson will direct the Live in HD presentation for cinemas, with host tenor Lawrence Brownlee, who will share exclusive behind-the-scenes access during the intermission. Brownlee will star as Tamino in director Simon McBurney’s upcoming new production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, which will be transmitted live to cinemas on June 3.
Fathom Events will also present encores of Champion on Wednesday, May 3, at 1:00PM and 6:30PM, local time.
Tickets for Champion are on sale through the Fathom Events website and participating theater box offices. For a complete list of theater locations, visit fathomevents.com (participating theaters are subject to change).Visit your local theater website for the most up-to-date information related to their health-and safety measures.
Content Advisory: Champion contains adult themes, sexually explicit language, and physical violence.
“THE THRILL AND AGONY OF VICTORY”
—The New York Times
“A VISCERAL, jazz-influenced work about the closeted bisexual boxer Emile Griffith,
who killed his opponent in a 1962 fight … A PROPULSIVE AND PERCUSSIVE score
… The fatal fight itself was staged with HEART-STOPPING VERVE … Ryan Speedo
Green and Eric Owens, in SPLENDID VOICE, made a powerful team … The capacity
opening-night crowd seemed unusually young, diverse, and enthusiastic.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“TRULY MOVING … The music flows with colorful, unmannered delicacy, the vocal lines
are GRACEFUL AND EXPRESSIVE … Eric Owens sang with his typical WARMTH AND
HUMANITY, and Ryan Speedo Green was intensely real …Green’s voice is ALWAYS
IMPECCABLE, and he brings a naturalness to every role … James Robinson’s production
and Camille A. Brown’s choreography made every scene meaningful …A VOCAL,
ENTHUSIASTIC AUDIENCE…★★★★” —Financial Times
“BLANCHARD HAS DONE IT AGAIN … Even if you don’t fancy yourself as an opera
lover or aficionado, his latest opera is a MUST SEE … Blanchard and his trumpet have
provided the SOUNDTRACK TO OUR LIVES.” —New YorkAmsterdam News
“A WINNING NIGHT at the Metropolitan Opera” —Town and Country
“Terence Blanchard is MAKING HISTORY at the Metropolitan Opera … again.” —NPR
“CHAMPION KICKS UP PLENTY OF GLORY … BLANCHARD IS A MASTER AT
MATCHING COLOR AND PACE …Yannick Nézet-Séguin steers the orchestra and
chorus through all the many shifts from darkness to DAZZLE, SHIMMY, AND GRIND …
The Met has thrown Champion a ROUSING PARTY.” —New York Magazine
THE STARS OF CHAMPION
Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Montreal, Canada
Latonia Moore, Emelda Griffith; Houston, Texas
Ryan Speedo Green, Young Emile Griffith; Suffolk, Virginia
Eric Owens, Emile Griffith; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Stephanie Blythe, Kathy Hagen; Mongaup Valley, New York
Paul Groves, Howie Albert; Lake Charles, Louisiana
Eric Greene, Benny “Kid” Paret; Baltimore, Maryland
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