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The Detroit Tigers and Michigan Opera Theatre team up to explore impact of art and sports on race relations

The year-long partnership will culminate with a production of “The Summer King.”

Photo Credit: Mitty Carter

The Detroit Tigers and Michigan Opera Theatre announced a year-long partnership exploring the role arts and sports have played in improving race relations.

The partnership, dubbed “Take me out to the Opera,” will present various community outreach events over the course of the year, including performances and lectures illustrating the trailblazing achievements of professionals from the worlds of music and sports, an updated production of MOT’s “I, Too, Sing America”, a lecture-recital performance illustrating the contributions of African Americans to classical music and sports, and residencies at Detroit schools, allowing students to create their own operatic pieces on the topics of music and sports.

The partnership will culminate with MOT’s May 2018 production of Daniel Sonenberg’s “The Summer King,” an opera about Negro Leagues baseball player Josh Gibson, who played for the Pittsburgh Crawfords and Homestead Grays.

“One of the opportunities available through arts and sports is an ability to bring people together, especially across racial divisions,” Michigan Opera Theatre CEO Wayne Brown says. “We are proud to partner with the Detroit Tigers to celebrate those athletes and artists who, like Josh Gibson, were catalysts for change in their communities.”

The announcement coincides with the Tigers’ annual Negro Leagues Weekend, which honors former Negro League players and the former team the Detroit Stars.

“Baseball is rich in history, and this collaboration provides the platform to create an ongoing dialogue surrounding sports, art and race,” Vice President of Marketing for the Detroit Tigers Ellen Hill Zeringue says.  

Stay up to date as the partnership progresses at michiganopera.org.

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