In what is described by New York Times classical music writer Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim as the company’s “wider shift toward more new music,” on June 5, Opera Philadelphia will present the premier of composer Daniel Schnyder’s “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird,” which stars Lawrence Brownlee as the bebop legend.
According to Fonseca-Wollheim, Opera Philadelphia has “a general willingness to take risks on unorthodox subjects and genres. Philadelphia’s last season featured the American premiere of Ana Sokolovic’s ‘Svadba,’ a raucous Balkan wedding ritual; October will bring a ‘Popera’ about Andy Warhol, mixing elements of cabaret and opera.”
“The mix of musical styles is especially risky in ‘Yardbird,’” Fonseca-Wollheim writes, “since it offers a portrait of a historical figure from the world of jazz, many of whose tunes have become iconic…but Schnyder sees it as an ‘opportunity to integrate the Afro-American musical language that was developed in the 1920s and went on to change the world into an operatic context.”
Fonseca-Wollheim’s complete story about this fascinating creation can be read by clicking here.