Met Opera returns, plays opera composed by an African American for first time

NEW YORK — Before the first note, Monday was a night filled with emotion and excitement as fans returned to the Metropolitan Opera after more than 18 months away.

But it was also historic because the opera performed was the first by an African American at the Met Opera in its 138-year history. “Fire Shut Up In My Bones” was composed by jazz musician Terence Blanchard.

“It means the world to me,” Blanchard said. “But it’s not just for me; it’s for all of the other people who wish they could have been here.”

As far as the genre, he says it’s opera infused with jazz.

“What I’m

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