With a libretto by Tazewell Thompson and score by Jeanine Tesori, BLUE tells the story of a loving, tight-knit family in modern-day Harlem struggling against increasing odds as the father proudly dons the blue uniform of NYPD while his son grows more politically active and socially aware.

“The state is very good at storytelling and using story to reinforce itself. The tension between artists telling stories and the state telling stories has been a driving force in building culture through the ages. Today, even many stories of verdicts and seeking justice, ultimately – they are narratives invested in the state’s practice. My question as an artist, is what are the stories that keep us alive? Staging this production at The Aretha Franklin Amphitheater in Detroit, I’ve included dancers who work in various forms from crumping, to waacking, to Jit. The Detroit Jit is a dance which, like Opera, evolved through cultural exchange and is rooted in histories of resistance, celebration and protest. These dance vocabularies help us animate the music, the story, and invite audiences to hear the music with the vastness of opera.”
– Kaneza Schaal

Aretha Franklin Amphitheatre, Detroit MI – September 11-12, 2021

Music by Jeanine Tesori
Libretto by Tazewell Thompson
Directed by Kaneza Schaal
Conducted by Daniela Candillari

In Review, Opera News
‘Blue’ Review: Opera in the Age of Black Lives Matter, Wall Street Journal
The Art of Blue: Opera Comes to The Aretha, BLAC
Staging ‘Blue’: Contemporary opera at Michigan Opera Theatre, Oregon Artswatch