Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s Opera Blue to Make NYC Debut at 2020 Mostly Mozart Festival

Classic Arts News   Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s Opera Blue to Make NYC Debut at 2020 Mostly Mozart Festival
The Lincoln Center lineup also includes several events commemorating the 250th birthday of Beethoven.
Kenneth Kellogg, Briana Hunter, and Aaron Crouch in <i>Blue</i>
Kenneth Kellogg, Briana Hunter, and Aaron Crouch in Blue Karli Cadel

Blue, a new opera by composer Jeanine Tesori and librettist-director Tazewell Thompson, will make its anticipated New York City premiere this year as part of Mostly Mozart Festival’s summer season.

The opera, exploring race and violence through the lens of an African-American couple raising their son, will run July 25–27 in the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Carolyn Kuan will conduct the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and a company that includes Kenneth Kellogg, Briana Hunter, and Aaron Crouch—all three of whom sang in the piece’s world premiere at the Glimmerglass Festival last year.

TCG Gala_2019_HR
Jeanine Tesori Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The series will launch July 14 and 15 at David Geffen Hall with the world premiere of Divine Connection, a choreographic presentation featuring music from Mozart’s Requiem and pieces by Arvo Pärt. The Lincoln Center commission is directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer, choreographed by Chanel DaSilva, and conducted by Mostly Mozart Music Director Louis Langrée, and will feature the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra and soloists Daniela Mack, Matthew Swensen, and Ryan Speedo Green.

Despite the festival’s moniker, a host of events will center around Beethoven as a worldwide celebration of the composer’s 250th birthday continues. Offerings include Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Joshua Bell, Steven Isserlis, and Jeremy Denk; an all-Beethoven program from the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra; and the piano concerto “Emperor” performed by Stephen Hough. The festival will conclude August 8 with A Beethoven Odyssey, a recreation of the composer’s 1808 Akademie Concert. The program will feature the Concert Chorale of New York, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, pianist Kirill Gerstein, soprano Susanna Phillips, and more.

The three-and-a-half week festival also includes the U.S. premiere of the Iván Fischer and Marco Gandini staging of Verdi’s Falstaff, the North American premiere of Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s chamber opera UR_, and a concert focusing on works by Tesori—soon to be represented on Broadway with the revival of her Caroline, or Change—featuring Lucia Bradford and Miles Mykkanen.

For more information and complete lineup, visit

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