Midwest Premiere & New Production Blue

By Jeanine Tesori & Tazewell Thompson

  • Language - Sung in English with projected English text
  • Location - At the Yard at Chicago Shakespeare

An African American couple in Harlem anticipates the birth of their firstborn, a son, with both hope and fear. As the baby grows into a young man, the mother worries for his future, and the father tries to prepare his son for the realities of 21st century America, while wrestling with his own identity as a police officer, a "Black man in blue." When their deepest fears come true, the family is forced to navigate a devastating reality seeking answers and support from their church and community. 

Lyric Opera presents the Chicago premiere of Tony Award®–winning composer Jeanine Tesori and NAACP Theatre Award–winning librettist Tazewell Thompson’s new opera inspired by contemporary events and Black literature, including Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. Gospel-influenced music and vivid flashbacks capture the grief of a family and community navigating the turbulent waters of loss at the hands of police. Exploring race, violence, and reconciliation, Blue places timely issues at the forefront of modern opera and invites audiences to the emotional epicenter of their impact.

“The times are fraught. Lit by lightning and divisiveness. Love, family, friends and the church are there when we need them. And we need them now. We need a song to soothe our sorrows as we confront painful, personal truths. We need music in our lives and our children near to help us repair heartache; music to ultimately lift us and celebrate the bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood togetherness.” – Tazewell Thompson, librettist and director. 

Upcoming Dates
Full Calendar

June 2020



7:00 PM

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1:30 PM

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7:00 PM

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7:00 PM

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7:00 PM

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1:30 PM

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Meet The Artists

Kenneth Kellogg*

The Father

Taylor Raven*

The Mother

Aaron Crouch*

The Son

Mark Rucker

The Reverend

Jeanine Tesori*


Tazewell Thompson*

Librettist/Stage Director

Viswa Subbaraman


Donald Eastman

Scenic Designer

Jessica Jahn

Costume Designer

Robert Wierzel

Lighting Designer

* Lyric debut

Production Sponsors

Debbie K. Wright


A co-production of The Glimmerglass Festival, Washington National Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago.