A week before staging its first opera by a Black composer in its 138-year history, the Metropolitan Opera has announced its second, to open in 2023. Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Davis’ X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X will open at the New York house November 3, 2023. Robert O. Hara, currently Tony-nominated for his work on Broadway’s Slave Play, will direct.
The new production of the opera, which premiered in 1986 at New York City Opera, will first play Michigan Opera Theatre and Opera Omaha. (The staging is a co-production between the three companies, as well as with Seattle Opera).
Taking on the title role will be baritone Will Liverman, who also leads the aforementioned milestone production—Terrence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones—this fall. Soprano Leah Hawkins will play Louise and Betty Shabazz (Malcolm X’s wife). Kazem Abdullah will conduct.
Tony nominee Camille A. Brown will choreograph, having previously worked on the Met’s Porgy and Bess and Fire Shut Up in My Bones (in addition to choreographing, she is also a co-director on the latter).