Terence Blanchard
(© terenceblanchard.com)
Terence Blanchard
(© terenceblanchard.com)
The new opera Champion, featuring music by five-time Grammy winner Terence Blanchard and libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Michael Cristofer, will receive its world premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, June 15-30. James Robinson will direct.

A co-commission with with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Jazz St. Louis, the piece is based on the story of prizefighter Emile Griffith, and will star Denyce Graves, Aubrey Allicock, Arthur Woodley, Robert Orth, and Meredith Arwady.

Blanchard is currently represented on Broadway by his original music for the revival of A Streetcar Named Desire, and previously composed original music for the Broadway play The Motherf**ker With the Hat.

Cristofer won the Pulitzer and the Tony Award for his play, The Shadow Box. He is also well known as an actor, and is a cast member on the NBC series Smash.