Fire Shut Up in My Bones opens Thursday, March 24

March 24–April 8

View Fire Shut Up in My Bones images here

CHICAGO (3/24/2022) – Lyric Opera of Chicago is proud to present the company premiere of Terence Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons’s new opera Fire Shut Up in My Bones, the latest in Lyric’s continuing long-term focus on developing and presenting new work on its mainstage.

Fire Shut Up in My Bones brings together an extraordinary collection of talent, including the composer Terence Blanchard, one of the most influential figures in American jazz, whose score is a fusion of opera, jazz, gospel, and other musical traditions, and Kasi Lemmons, a celebrated screenwriter and film director, whose bracing and poetic libretto skillfully adapts The New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s memoir for the stage. The production is conducted by Daniela Candillari and co-directed by James Robinson and Camille A. Brown, with Brown also providing the opera's electrifying choreography.

The topflight cast includes many of America’s most brilliant singing actors, including Will Liverman, an alumnus of Lyric’s Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, in the central role of Charles; Latonia Moore in her Lyric debut as Charles’s mother, Billie; Brittany Renee in her Lyric debut in the roles of Destiny, Loneliness, and Charles’s girlfriend Greta; Chauncey Packer as Spinner, Billie’s womanizing husband, in his Lyric debut; and Chris Kenney, also an alumnus of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center, who returns as Chester, Charles’s abusive cousin.

When Fire Shut Up in My Bones had its New York premiere at the Metropolitan Opera last year, it earned thunderous acclaim for its creative team and cast and instantly became the must-have ticket for the fall. Chicago audiences will soon discover why.

View Fire Shut Up in My Bones images here 

A high-resolution video trailer is now available on Lyric's YouTube channel.

Watch a short film featuring a lively conversation between composer Terence Blanchard and star Will Liverman.

Read the Fire Shut Up in My Bones digital program book

Performance dates for Fire Shut Up in My Bones are March 24, 27, 29, April 2, 6, and 8; All performances take place at the Lyric Opera House, 20 North Wacker Drive, Chicago.

Fire Shut Up in My Bones is performed in English with projected English titles. Running time is 3 hours and 5 minutes, including one 30-minute intermission.

For tickets and information, call 312.827.5600 or go to

Lyric Opera's 2021|22 Season is presented by

Lyric Opera of Chicago thanks its Official Airline, American Airlines.

Lyric Opera of Chicago is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and acknowledges support from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Lyric’s new co-production of Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones is generously made possible by

Anonymous Donor

Zell Family Foundation

The Harris Family Foundation

Lauter McDougal Charitable Fund

H. Gael Neeson

Ethel & William Gofen

Susan & Robert Morrison

Additional support is provided by The Joyce Foundation, Allstate and Conagra Brands Foundation.


Based on the book by Charles M. Blow.

A co-production of Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, and LA Opera.

Commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera.

Originally commissioned by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, co-commissioned by Jazz Saint Louis.

About Lyric

About Lyric

Lyric Opera of Chicago is committed to redefining what it means to experience great opera. The company is driven to deliver consistently excellent artistry through innovative, relevant, celebratory programming that engages and energizes new and traditional audiences.

Under the leadership of General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud, Music Director Enrique Mazzola, and Special Project Advisor Renée Fleming, Lyric is dedicated to reflecting, and drawing strength from, the diversity of Chicago. Lyric offers, through innovation, collaboration, and evolving learning opportunities, ever-more exciting, accessible, and thought-provoking audience and community experiences. We also stand committed to training the artists of the future, through The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center; and to becoming increasingly diverse across our audiences, staff, programming, and artists—magnifying the welcoming pull of our art form, our company, and our city.

Through the timeless power of voice, the splendor of a great orchestra and chorus, theater, dance, design, and truly magnificent stagecraft, Lyric is devoted to immersing audiences in worlds both familiar and unexpected, creating shared experiences that resonate long after the curtain comes down.

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