New England Premiere of Malcolm X Opera
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and Odyssey Opera, two of today’s leading innovators on the classical musical scene, present the New England premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis’s seminal opera X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X (1986) on June 17, 2022, at the Strand Theatre, a short distance from the house where Malcolm Little lived in his teenage years in Roxbury. This sprawling, genre-bending biographical opera unfolds the astonishing life of one of the most misunderstood men in history. Led by conductor Gil Rose, this semi-staged, three-act production features celebrated bass-baritone Davóne Tines, Musical America’s 2021 Vocalist of the Year, embodying the title role of Malcolm X; mezzo-soprano Ronnita Miller (Ella); soprano Whitney Morrison (Louise/Betty); Boston-based baritone Joshua Conyers (Reginald); tenor Victor Robertson (Elijah/Street); 14-year-old Framingham singer Jonathan Harris (Malcolm Little); and the full BMOP orchestra with an ensemble of jazz soloists. X marks the first production in BMOP’s five-year performance and recording initiative As Told By: History, Race, and Justice on the Opera Stage, the most extensive and ambitious presentation of opera by Black composers to ever take place in the United States.