January 27th – February 11th, 2024
Lyric Opera of Chicago welcomes Champion, the first opera written by composer Terence Blanchard. Based on a true story and featuring a libretto by Michael Cristofer; the drama unfolds in what composer Terence Blanchard calls “an opera in jazz.” Welterweight boxer Emile Griffith is tortured by the complex realities of his life: decades-long guilt from defeating a challenger in the ring, who died from Griffith’s blows; and desperately conflicted feelings regarding his own sexuality. James Robinson’s production arrives in Chicago with a remarkable cast. Joining Lyric favorites Eric Owens, Whitney Morrison, and Paul Groves is Justin Austin, a brilliant new star who triumphed in Fire Shut Up in My Bones, with Music Director Enrique Mazzola leading the Lyric Opera Orchestra.