The Met Debuts First Opera by Black Composer in its 138-Year History

In Summary

Terence Blanchard is making history as the first Black composer to debut a show at the Metropolitan Opera. Fire Shut Up in My Bones, is based on BNC's Prime host Charles Blow's memoir.

The Metropolitan Opera returns with Fire Shut Up in my Bones on Monday, the first opera to be composed by African American in the Met’s 138-year history. 

RELATED: Kim Janey Becomes Boston’s First Black, First Woman Mayor 

Grammy award-winning jazz trumpeter and Oscar-nominated composer Terence Blanchard is composing the show, his second opera, based on the memoir from BNC’s Prime host and New York Times opinion columnist Charles Blow. 

“It’s an overwhelming experience,” Blanchard said on Good Morning America. “But I gotta tell you, it’s filled with mixed emotions because I know that I’m the first, but I know that I’m not the first qualified. And that always has to be said. I know I’m standing on some very strong shoulders.” 

RELATED: Kelsey Koelzer Becomes First Black Ice Hockey Coach in NCAA History  

The show will follow the story of Blow’s upbringing in Gibsland, Louisiana and the molestation he suffered at the hands of a family member. Blanchard will bring a fusion of jazz, gospel and classical opera to the show, which he refers to as “an opera in jazz.” 

“Doing this story is a very powerful one for me, because hopefully some people will come and see this story and then know him and his success and understand that you can overcome anything,” Blanchard said.  

He hopes that the history-making opera will open doors for other Black composers and artists to tell their stories at the Met.  

Latest in Entertainment

Virgil Abloh


Virgil Abloh of Off-White and Louis Vuitton Dies Following Cancer Battle


Hulu Releases Documentary on Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction

Dr. Kariamu Welsh Dies


African Diaspora Dance Pioneer Kariamu Welsh Dies at 72

Courtesy of Antwain Fowler Instagram page


Viral Video Star Antwain Fowler Dies at 6


Michael Strahan Will Fly Into Space

Dave Chappelle


Transgender Netflix Employee Quits After Dave Chappelle Comedy Special

Iman Shumpert - Dancing With the Stars


Iman Shumpert: First NBA Player to Score ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Win

Grammy Nominations


Grammys 2022 Nominations: Jon Batiste, Doja Cat Lead Noms