Joshua Kosman, SF Chronicle:
Champion fuses jazz and opera in boxing tale
“That old man — a haunted, haunting figure — sits at the center of “Champion,” the engaging and inventive “opera in jazz” by composer Terence Blanchard that opened a two-week run Friday night at the SFJazz Center in a dexterous production by Opera Parallèle. And the question that won’t stop nagging him in the opening moments of the opera — “Where does my shoe go?” — keeps coming back throughout the three-hour performance, taking on new meanings and new urgency with each recurrence.”
“What all of this adds up to, especially in Opera Parallèle’s deft and sensitive account, is simultaneously an innovative take on the material and a recognizably familiar operatic dramaturgy. The piece’s musical language — strong, evocative and varied — may be relatively new to the operatic world, but its modes of storytelling are tried and true.”
Click HERE to read the rest of the article.
Steven Winn, SF Classical Voice:
Champion Delivers Emotional TKO
“Fearless, graceful, full of sly musical feints and bravura dramatic feats, Champion – “An Opera in Jazz” scored a resounding triumph on its opening weekend at the SFJAZZ Center. Anyone in doubt about the power of great music theater to reach and move an audience at the deepest levels must see and hear this remarkable hybrid opera, which continues through February 28.
Click HERE to read the whole Classical Voice article.
Philip Campbell, Bay Area Reporter:
Inspired Portrayal of a gay Champion
“The buzz surrounding the West Coast premiere of Terence Blanchard’sChampion: An Opera in Jazz morphed into a roar of approval last Friday when a packed crowd cheered Opera Parallele’s lavish new production at SFJAZZ Center. The collaboration between SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director Blanchard and the edgy San Francisco-based contemporary opera company proved inspired. Jazz and opera fans alike appreciated the powerful re-telling of boxer Emile Griffith’s tragic life.”
Click HERE to read the full article.