Five-time Grammy Award-winner Terence Blanchard's Fire Shut Up in My Bones to be presented live in cinemas on October 23

Landmark production marks the first opera by a Black composer to be performed at the Met
Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 11:30 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2021 at 2:15 PM EDT

DENVER, Oct. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Oscar-nominated and five-time Grammy-winning composer and jazz musician Terence Blanchard recently made history when his Fire Shut Up in My Bones became the first opera by a Black composer to be performed by the Metropolitan Opera. Following its critically acclaimed Met premiere, Blanchard's adaptation of New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow's memoir will be shown live in cinemas, distributed over Fathom's Digital Broadcast Network (DBN) on Saturday, October 23, as part of The Met: Live in HD series. Featuring a libretto by filmmaker Kasi Lemmons, which marks her first foray into opera, the work tells a profound story about a young man's journey to overcome a childhood of trauma and hardship. James Robinson and Camille A. Brown co-direct the opera, and Brown, who is also the production's choreographer, is the first Black director to create a mainstage Met production. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a stellar cast starring baritone Will Liverman, sopranos Angel Blue and Latonia Moore, and 13-year-old Walter Russell III, who made his Met debut in this production. Emmy, Grammy, and six-time Tony Award–winner Audra McDonald hosts the live cinema transmission.

Fathom Events (PRNewsfoto/Fathom Events)
Fathom Events (PRNewsfoto/Fathom Events)

Tickets can be purchased online at or at participating theater box offices. A complete list of theater locations is available on the Fathom Events website (theaters and participants are subject to change).

For more information about Fire Shut Up in My Bones, please click here.

Content Advisory: Fire Shut Up in My Bones addresses adult themes and contains some adult language.

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"A watershed moment for American opera … A defiant, tender, and vital work of art … A starting point for something new, a refresh of where opera can take us." —The Washington Post

"A fresh, affecting work … Poetic, poignant, sometimes grimly funny, always dramatically effective … Will Liverman [gives] a breakthrough performance … Angel Blue bring[s] her luminous soprano voice and unforced charisma." —The New York Times

"Landmark performance … The evening was a triumph for Terence Blanchard … Beautifully composed with nuances of shade and color … Music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin … brought out a vibrant performance … Walter Russell III, a 13-year-old who played the young Charles, got the biggest individual cheers." —Associated Press

"A bracing and humane story shot through with wit, tenderness, and melodrama. Liverman is an elegant singer … He's a new star." —New York Magazine

"Fire Shut Up in My Bones makes Met Opera history … Kasi Lemmons's libretto does a wonderful job adapting the dramatic elements of Charles Blow's tale." —Financial Times

"Riveting … A remarkable addition to the Met's repertoire." —Vogue

"Magnetically powerful … It was staggering to witness this jolt of proud kinetic Blackness on the Metropolitan Opera stage … A singular achievement … Triumphant." —NPR

"A welcome move towards more inclusivity in opera vividly staged at the Met by Camille Brown and James Robinson … Heralds a new era for the Met." —The Economist


Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Will Liverman, Charles (baritone); Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Latonia Moore, Billie (soprano); Hometown: Houston, Texas
Angel Blue, Destiny/Loneliness/Greta (soprano); Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Walter Russell III, Char'es-Baby (treble); Hometown: New York, NY

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SOURCE Fathom Events

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