Tinuke Craig will direct Jeanine Tesori’s powerful opera ‘BLUE’ for English National Opera in spring 2023!

English National Opera will present the UK debut of BLUE, a powerful and complex contemporary opera by multi-Tony Award-nominee and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Jeanine Tesori, exploring the effects of police violence on African American families and communities.

BLUE will play six performances at the London Coliseum from 20 April to 4 May 2023.

Exploring the effects of police violence on African American families and communities, BLUE is a complex story with deep resonance. An activist son clashes with his police officer father in this gripping and tragic story, which places the repercussions of police brutality against unarmed black men at the centre of its narrative.

Acclaimed theatre director Tinuke Craig will direct this new production, in her operatic debut, and former ENO Mackerras Fellow Matthew Kofi Waldren will conduct. Set and Costume Designer is Alex Lowde. The libretto is by Tazewell Thompson, a noted theatre and opera director, librettist and Director of Opera Studies at Manhattan School of Music.

The cast includes: Nadine Benjamin (Mother), Michael Sumuel (Father), Zwakele Tshabalala (Son), Ronald Samm (Reverend), Chanae Curtis, April Koyejo-Audiger and Idunnu Münch (Girlfriends), Joshua Conyers, Rheinaldt Tshepo Moagi and John-Colyn Gyeantey (Policemen).

Commissioned in 2015 by the Glimmerglass Festival and premiering in 2019, this piece addresses contemporary issues around race and injustice. BLUE won the Music Critics Association of North America Award in 2020 for Best New Opera.

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