Washington National Opera



Eisenhower Theater

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

Mar. 15 - 28, 2020

  • Genre


  • Price Range

    $35.00 – $189.00

  • Runtime


The new opera BLUE in performance.
Photo by Karolina McLean



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.


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

† Alumna of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program

Creative Team

Pre- and Post-Show Events

Come early for a Pre-Performance Talk

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. 

Post-Performance Artist Q&A

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:

All performances

Related Events

Washington National Opera

Blue Community Tour with the Law Enforcement Community

Leaning on the impactful partnerships that have been developed through the work of Blue’s Community Advisory Committee, the opera’s creators, casts, and local guests will tour the greater D.C. community share excerpts and engagement in conversation around the topics of Blue. WNO sees the relationships built through Blue as an important part its goals of artistic citizenship, and will continue to develop those relationships once the opera has closed.

Washington National Opera

Blue Community Tour at Anacostia Community Museum's Twilight Tuesday

Enjoy selected arias from the Washington National Opera’s production, Blue and a conversation with the opera's librettist and director, Tazewell Thompson, moderated by Anacostia Community Museum Director, Melanie Adams.  Light refreshments.  This program is part of the museum’s new Twilight Tuesdays series of drop-in programs.  The museum is open until 8pm every Tuesday.  No registration required.  Something is always happening on Twilight Tuesdays!


Support the Arts in America

The Kennedy Center is a non-profit institution, and your tax-deductible gift helps expand our arts and education offerings throughout the country.

Donate Today

Major support for WNO and Blue 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


Additional support for Blue is provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Terms and Conditions

All events and artists subject to change without prior notice.

All ticket prices are subject to change based on demand. Purchase early to lock in prices and the best seats!

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