The Apollo Theater will induct jazz legend Charlie Parker into the Apollo Walk of Fame March 30. The induction precedes the New York premiere of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, an opera that recounts his life and music. Performances will play April 1 and 3.
Parker has a special history with the Apollo, where he developed the bebop style and conducted a handful of bold musical experiments. One of such performances produced the 1950 album Charlie Parker with Strings, a recording meant to bridge the gap between jazz and classical music.
Composed by Daniel Schnyder with librettist Bridgette Wimberly, Charlie Parker's Yardbird stars Lawrence Brownlee in the title role. The Apollo production is being co-produced with Opera Philadelphia, which staged the sold-out world premiere last June. The New York debut reunites Brownlee with much of the original cast alongside maestro Corrado Rovaris and the Opera Philadelphia Orchestra. The company will again be joined by stage director Ron Daniels.
Set in the famed Birdland jazz club on March 12, 1955, the day Parker died, the opera offers a rare and intimate look into the soul of the great saxophonist as he composes his final masterpiece.
Watch a trailer for the new work below: