New York — Jazz composer Terence Blanchard couldn't have imagined how timely his opera about a gay boxer would become when he accepted a commission three years ago.
Blanchard's "Champion" – with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Michael Cristofer – is based on the life of former world welterweight and middleweight champion Emile Griffith. Its world premiere at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis on Saturday comes just weeks after NBA center Jason Collins became the first active male pro athlete from one of the four major North American team sports to come out as gay.
Griffith's greatest triumph came in a nationally televised welterweight title bout in 1962 when he knocked out Benny "The Kid" Paret by battering him with 17 punches in seven seconds, sending his rival into a coma. Paret died 10 days later.
At the weigh-in, the Cuban-born Paret had angered Griffith by using an anti-gay Spanish slur. Thirty years later, »
Similar News ItemsSpike Lee
- Blu-ray Review: 'Ganja & Hess' (From CineVue. 26 January 2015, 4:00 AM, PST)
- Sundance: Jack Black Bromance Comedy ‘The D Train’ Sells to IFC for $3 Million (From The Wrap. 25 January 2015, 10:20 AM, PST)
- Sundance: A24, DirecTV Buy Robert Eggers’ ‘The Witch’ (Updated) (From The Wrap. 24 January 2015, 1:16 PM, PST)
Benny Andersson (I)
- Birdman and Eddie Redmayne take home SAG Awards (From Flickeringmyth. 26 January 2015, 4:41 AM, PST)
- 2015 SAG Awards winners and nominees (From Hitfix. 25 January 2015, 4:14 PM, PST)
- NTAs 2015: Thierry Henry's walk-on song being 'hurriedly translated' (From Digital Spy - TV news. 21 January 2015, 3:32 AM, PST)
Jason Collins (V)
- Sundance: NBA Star Jason Collins Ranks His Favorite Four Fest Experiences (From Variety - Film News. 26 January 2015, 1:38 PM, PST)
- That time Taylor Swift, Lorde and Eddie Redmayne were the center of the Golden Globes (From Hitfix. 12 January 2015, 2:22 AM, PST)
- Gay Soccer Star Robbie Rogers on His New Memoir, ABC Sitcom and Boyfriend Greg Berlanti (From Entertainment Tonight. 26 November 2014, 7:20 AM, PST)