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Composer:Terence Blanchard
Librettist:Michael Cristofer

The real-life story of Emile Griffith--the closeted gay boxer whose knockout of a homophobic rival in the early 1960s led to unexpected tragedy--comes roaring to the stage in Terence Blanchard's haunting and visually stunning "opera in jazz."

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Click company name to view productions details.
Metropolitan OperaChampion4/10/2023 - 5/13/2023
Boston Lyric OperaChampion5/18/2022 - 5/22/2022
Opéra de MontréalChampion1/26/2019 - 2/2/2019
Opéra de QuébecChampion1/26/2019 - 2/2/2019
New Orleans Opera AssociationChampion3/9/2018 - 3/11/2018
Washington National OperaChampion3/4/2017 - 3/18/2017
Opera ParallèleChampion2/19/2016 - 2/19/2016
Opera Theatre of Saint LouisChampion6/6/2013 - 6/30/2013

OPERA America/Opera.ca Grants Awarded
Click here to learn more about OPERA America granting programs.
New Works Exploration Grants2017
New Works Exploration Grants2016
New Works Exploration Grants2013
The Opera Fund: Audience Development 2012

Title Information

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Number of Acts

Original Cast

Emile Griffith (Arthur Woodley)

Young Emile Griffith (Aubrey Allicock)

Emelda Griffith, Emile's mother (Denyce Graves)

Howie Albert, Emile's trainer (Robert Orth)

Kathy Hagan, a bar owner  (Meredith Arwady)

Benny 'Kid' Paret/Benny Paret Jr, a boxer/his son  (Victor Ryan Robertson)

Luis Rodrigo Griffith, Emile's adopted son and caretaker   (Brian Arreola)

Sadie Donastrog Griffith/Cousin Blanche   (Chabrelle Williams)

Little Emile, Emile as a young boy   (Jordan Jones)

Ring Announcer  (Christopher Hutchinson)

Chorus of Reporters, photographers, hat makers, men at the boxing gym, Caribbean paraders, Drag queens

Technical Production Directory
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