TV News

Met Opera Champion Will Premiere on PBS in November

The opera will also be available to stream beginning November 5.

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A scene from the Metropolitan Opera production of Terence Blanchard’s Champion.
(© Ken Howard / Met Opera)

The Metropolitan Opera production of Champion will premiere in November on PBS as part of Great Performances at the Met. Check local listings for showtimes. The opera will also be available to stream on and the PBS App starting on November 5.

Six-time Grammy Award-winning composer Terence Blanchard returned to the Met with Champion after his opera Fire Shut Up in My Bones became the first opera by a Black composer to be performed by the company. Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cristofer wrote the libretto for Champion. The opera is based on the true story of boxer Emile Griffith, a closeted young hatmaker-turned-prizefighter, who rises from obscurity to become world champion and kills his homophobic archrival in the ring.

Bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green plays young Emile Griffith with bass-baritone Eric Owens as Griffith’s older self. Soprano Latonia Moore plays Emelda Griffith, the boxer’s estranged mother, and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe plays the bar owner, Kathy Hagen.

Fire Shut Up in My Bones conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, director James Robinson, and choreographer Camille A. Brown return for this production. Opera singer Lawrence Brownlee hosts.