Premiere of ‘Fire Shut Up in My Bones’ Sets the Reopened Met Ablaze

Fire Shut Up in My Bones is in the running for best American opera of the 21st century.

By James Jorden • 09/28/21 12:13pm

Latonia Moore (center) as Billie tracks down her unfaithful husband in a Louisiana honky tonk in a scene from "Fire Shut Up My Bones."
Latonia Moore (center) as Billie tracks down her unfaithful husband in a Louisiana honky tonk in a scene from “Fire Shut Up My Bones.” Ken Howard / Met Opera

After over a year and a half of silence, the Metropolitan Opera came roaring back last night with a captivating new opera to open its 2021-2022 season. Terence Blanchard’s tuneful Fire Shut Up in My Bones made history in more ways than one.

To begin with, it’s the first opera by a Black composer ever to be staged by the often-stodgy Met. More importantly, perhaps, this is an opera with legs: Blanchard’s expertise assures it’s going to be revived at the Met and elsewhere for decades to come.

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