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Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Story & Setting:

Writer Charles M. Blow’s memoir gets a thrilling operatic adaptation in this landmark work. The opera follows Charles from childhood in the 1970s to his adulthood in the 1990s, including time in and around a small town in northwestern Louisiana, and Blow’s alma mater, Grambling State University. The young man’s epic psychological journey to self-acceptance includes moving soliloquys alongside thrilling ensemble moments (most notably the step dance sequence in Act 3).

Opera Notes:

Terence Blanchard’s second opera made history in 2021 as the first piece written by a Black composer to be performed on the Met Opera stage. A jazz trumpeter, Blanchard’s score melds opera and jazz forms, requiring the singers to perform with strong classical technique, while also being comfortable with infusing jazz and gospel styles into the vocal lines. The powerful music expertly matches the often painful themes in the opera; the ideas of Loneliness and Destiny are personified in moving, dream-like sequences that bring the audience right into Charles’ inner struggles.
*This work contains mature themes, including strong language and references to sexual assault. Recommended for HS+.

Sung in



3 hours & 15 minutes

Terence Blanchard (b. 1962)


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