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Michigan Opera Theatre Produces 'The Summer King,' the Story of the Life of Negro League Baseball Player Josh Gibson

The production is a part of MOT's Take Me Out to the Opera program.

Michigan Opera Theatre partners with the Pittsburg Opera to bring us The Summer King, a story of the life and struggles of the famous Negro League baseball player Josh Gibson, active during the '30s and '40s before dying tragically at 35. The production is a part of MOT's Take Me Out to the Opera program – a year-long initiative that explores the role of arts and sports in improving racial equity and inclusion.

The Summer King anchors Lester Lynch at the helm, playing Gibson, and is conducted by Steven Mercurio, featuring the music of Daniel Sonenberg. About which Opera News observes, "Sonenberg's eclectic aural landscape incorporates jazz, ragtime, swing, even extending to mariachi in a scene where Gibson goes to Mexico to play for the Veracruz Azules."

Stephen Lord, MOT's principal conductor, says Gibson's is an "inspirational story" that "just begs to be told as an opera."

The Summer King

May 12, 16 and 19-20

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