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Washington National Opera: Blue

Sunday, March 15, 2020 - Saturday, March 28, 2020

DIRECT CURRENT Washington National Opera

In the D.C. premiere of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s new contemporary opera, a family struggles when their teenager is shot by police.


$35.00 - $189.00

Run Time

Running Time: TBA


How do you protect a child born into danger?


Music by Jeanine Tesori / Libretto by Tazewell Thompson

In English with Projected English Titles
Co-Production with The Glimmerglass Festival and Lyric Opera of Chicago

In Harlem, a couple celebrates the birth of their firstborn—a boy, black and beautiful. As the mother worries for their son’s future in today’s America, the father wrestles with his role as a police officer, a “black man in blue.” When the unimaginable happens years later and the son is killed by a white officer, their fears will strike devastatingly close to home.

WNO presents the D.C. premiere of Tony Award®–winning composer Jeanine Tesori and NAACP Theatre Award–winning librettist Tazewell Thompson’s new opera inspired by contemporary events and Black literature, including Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. Jeanine's signature and genre-blending style and vivid flashbacks capture the grief of a family and community navigating the turbulent waters of loss at the hands of police. Exploring race, violence, and reconciliation, Blue places timely issues at the forefront of modern opera and invites audiences to the emotional epicenter of their impact.

“A powerful new work is destined to join the American canon…There are stories that become part of the fabric of American culture, told…,like West Side Story, Porgy and Bess, and A Raisin in the Sun. In recent years, a number of storytellers have attempted to fold police shootings of black people into works that are similarly grand and timeless. Few of those efforts have been so memorable, so unshakable, that they ascend to something more. Blue, a new opera…may be the exception.” The Undefeated


The Father:
Kenneth Kellogg†
The Mother:
Briana Hunter
The Son:
Aaron Crouch
The Reverend:
Gordon Hawkins


John DeMain
Tazewell Thompson
Scenic Design:
Donald Eastman
Costume Design:
Jessica Jahn
Lighting Designer:
Robert Wierzel

† Alumna of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program


Join a free lecture before every Opera House production and Blue! Delve deeper as you take a peek inside the composer’s mind, behind the scenes of planning a production, and into the history and social context of each opera. These lectures are free, but patrons must present a ticket from any performance of the production that is being discussed in the lecture. Most Pre-Performance Talks begin 1 hour before the performance and last 25–30 minutes.


Don't miss your opportunity to engage directly with our artists and share your thoughts on the experience you just had! Here's your chance to ask questions and get the inside scoop on the production from members of the cast and creative team. All discussions begin immediately after the performance and are free with your ticket.

Blue Artist Q&A Dates:
Sun., Mar. 15
Mon., Mar. 23


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All events and artists subject to change without prior notice.
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