February 21, 2024

Malcolm X production marks a first for Seattle Opera’s mainstage

Anthony Davis was still a teenager when he first began thinking about writing an opera.

“Initially, I wanted to do Ralph Ellison’s novel ‘Invisible Man’ as an opera. I’d still like to do that someday,” he said during a recent Zoom interview from Chicago, where he was workshopping one of his latest projects.

But the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, pianist and scholar found another potent topic for his first full-length opera in the political and spiritual journey of Malcolm X, the civil rights leader whose shocking assassination in 1965 at New York City’s Audubon Ballroom became a defining event of that turbulent era. Davis, who lives in San Diego and has taught at the University of California there since 1996, is best known for his provocative operas involving contemporary political and social themes.

Click to read the full article