KENNEDY CENTER EDUCATION
SCHOOL PERFORMANCE

WNO Open Rehearsal: Blue

Eisenhower Theater

March 12 for school groups

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.

Thu. Mar. 12, 2020 7p.m.

Event Information

  • Genre

    Opera

About the Program

How do you protect a child born into danger?

Blue

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. Gospel-influenced music 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 StoryPorgy 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

Pre and Post-Show Lectures and Conversations

“Blue” Pre-Performance Lectures: March 15, 18, 20, 23, 28 Kennedy Cener Eisenhower Theater
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 the performance.

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.                                         

“Blue” Post-Performance Conversations: March 15, 23 Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater

Engage directly with our artists and share your thoughts on the experience.

All post-show discussions begin immediately after the performance and are free with tickets.

Moderator: Nkechi Taifa (all performances)

March 15: Creative Team

March 18: Focus on Law Enforcement

March 20: Focus on Youth

March 23: Focus on Law Enforcement

March 28: Focus on Healing through Community, Art, Faith

 

Get the Performance Guide

A digitial performance guide will be available soon.

Digital Learning Resources

Article Dealing with Sensitive Themes Onstage

Staging controversial shows in school theaters presents rewards and risks. Veteran arts educators share insights about the pros and cons of such shows, and how to produce them successfully.

  • Theater
  • Controversial Topic

Media Who Doesn't Love Opera?

Who doesn't love opera? Unfortunately a lot of people think they don't, and most of them have never seen one.

  • Opera

Article Opera-tunity Knocks

A guide for all opera newbies, both young and old, with some hints as to how to calm the opera skeptic.

  • Opera

Media Understanding Different Voice Types

A soprano is a soprano because she can sing high and a bass is a bass because he sings low, right? Not really...

  • Music
  • Vocal Music
  • Jobs in the Arts

Register Your School Group

For school groups of 10 or more only (public performances for non-school groups may be available). Each student, teacher, and chaperone attending must have a ticket. Our performances are intended to provide educational opportunities to students within the metro area. We are partially funded through the Department of Education which enables us to offer our tickets at a reduced price. We provide family series events on the weekends which provide a better opportunity if your ratio of adults to students exceeds 1:4. If you need clarification please call the School Registration Office at (202) 416-8835.

Major support for WNO is provided by Jacqueline Badger Mars.

David M. Rubenstein is the Presenting Underwriter of WNO.

WNO acknowledges the longstanding generosity of Life Chairman Mrs. Eugene B. Casey.

WNO's Presenting Sponsor

General-Dynamics.png

 Generous support for WNO Italian Opera is provided by Daniel and Gayle D'Aniello.

This performance is made possible by the Kimsey Endowment;The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.

Major support for educational programs at the Kennedy Center is provided by David M. Rubenstein through the Rubenstein Arts Access Program.

Kennedy Center Education

Major support for educational programs at the Kennedy Center is provided by David M. Rubenstein through the Rubenstein Arts Access Program.

Generous support is also provided by the U.S. Department of Education.

The content of these programs may have been developed under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education but does not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education. You should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Gifts and grants to educational programs at the Kennedy Center are provided by A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation; Sandra K. & Clement C. Alpert; Annenberg Foundation; Bank of America; Bender Foundation, Inc.; The Honorable Stuart Bernstein and Wilma E. Bernstein.

Michael F. and Noémi K. Neidorff and The Centene Charitable Foundation; CMA Foundation; DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities; Dr. Gerald and Paula McNichols Foundation; Estée Lauder; Exelon; Ford Foundation; The Gessner Family Foundation; GRoW @ Annenberg and Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family; Harman Family Foundation; The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust; Herb Alpert Foundation; The Isadore and Bertha Gudelsky Family Foundation, Inc.; iTheatrics; The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation; Jim and Heather Johnson; The Karel Komárek Family Foundation; the Kimsey Endowment; The Kiplinger Foundation; The King-White Family Foundation and Dr. J. Douglas White; Natalie and Herb Kohler and Kohler Co.; Laird Norton Family Foundation; Macy's; The Markow Totevy Foundation; Dr. Gary Mather and Ms. Christina Co Mather; Linda and Tobia Mercuro; Little Kids Rock; The Meredith Foundation; The Millennium Stage Endowment Fund; The Morningstar Foundation; 

The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation; Myra and Leura Younker Endowment Fund; NAMM Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Newman's Own Foundation; Nordstrom; Oath Foundation; Park Foundation, Inc.; Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; The Irene Pollin Audience Development and Community Engagement Initiatives; Prince Charitable Trusts; Rosemary Kennedy Education Fund; Dr. Deborah Rose and Dr. Jan A. J. Stolwijk; Rosenthal Family Foundation; Mr. and Mrs. Albert H. Small; The Stella Boyle Smith Trust; Target; The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates; The Volgenau Foundation; Volkswagen Group of America; Dennis & Phyllis Washington; Wells Fargo; William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust; and generous contributors to the Abe Fortas Memorial Fund and by a major gift to the fund from the late Carolyn E. Agger, widow of Abe Fortas. Additional support is provided by the National Committee for the Performing Arts.