MET Opera’s Terence Blanchard And Latonia Moore To Hold Special Masterclass

March 23, 2023

Seven-time Grammy Award-winner Terence Blanchard and opera superstar Latonia Moore will pay a visit to the historic Harlem School of the Arts (HSA).

The 59-year-old organization was founded by another internationally recognized concert soprano, Dorothy Maynor.  

Mr. Blanchard will hold a Masterclass with and for students of HSA and members of the All-City High School Music Program.

The evening, a partnership with the Metropolitan Opera will include performances by Mr. Blanchard and Ms. Moore. The event will be held in HSA’s Dorothy Maynor Hall, 645 St. Nicholas Avenue on March 28th from 5:00-6:15 pm. 

As part of this important partnership, HSA student dancers will participate in a special workshop to be taught at the opera house by one of Camille A. Brown’s dancers, followed by a Q&A session with the award-winning choreographer herself.


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HSA students will also attend a dress rehearsal performance of Champion. 

Mr. Blanchard made history last year by becoming the first Black composer to open the Metropolitan Opera’s season, in its 138 years.  

His highly acclaimed Fire Shut Up in My Boneswent on to win a 2023 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording and made one of its stars, Walter Russell III, an HSA Student, the youngest Black male to win a Grammy.  

This year, Terence Blanchard returns to the Met with a powerful new opera, based on the true story of middleweight boxing champion Emile Alphonse Griffith, who won world titles in three weight divisions.  

In 1962, Griffith’s championship story turned tragic when he accidentally killed his opponent and archrival, Benny “Kid” Paret during their fight, an event that would haunt him for the rest of his life.

Creative members of the team that worked on Fire Shut Up in My Bones reunite on Champion, including director James Robinson and multi-award-winning choreographer Camille A. Brown. Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the stellar cast which includes star soprano Latonia Moore playing Emelda Griffith, Emile’s estranged mother; bass-baritones Ryan Speedo Green and Eric Owens as young and old Emile respectively; and baritone Eric Greene as Benny “Kid” Paret.

Mezzo soprano Stephanie Blythe, tenor Paul Groves and contralto Meredith Arwady round out the cast.

At the Harlem School of the Arts, the legacy of Dorothy Maynor, one of the most gifted sopranos of her time, and the first Black woman to sit on the board of the MET, is based in part on introducing young people to all the arts disciplines, and to opening the doors of possibilities by showcasing the brilliance and diversity of those in the artistic world. One can only think that sheis smiling at this 360 moment.  

She once famously said about her hopes for Harlem’s children, “What I dream of is changing the image held by the children… We’ve made them believe that everything beautiful is outside the community. We would like them to make beauty in our community.”  That dream is very much alive and thriving.

Harlem School of the Arts, The Herb Alpert Center 

New York City’s premier community arts institution, the Harlem School of the Arts, the Herb Alpert Center stands uniquely apart as the sole provider of arts education in four disciplines: music, dance, theater, and art & design, all within our award-winning 37,000 square foot facility.

The institution’s reputation for artistic rigor and excellence attracts students of diverse socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds from the five New York City boroughs as well as Westchester County and the tri-state area, which includes Connecticut and New Jersey. HSA’s alumni and faculty are counted among the most talented leaders in the arts. 

Founded by concert soprano Dorothy Maynor over 50 years ago, HSA has enriched the lives of tens of thousands of young people through world-class training in the arts.

HSA offers its students the freedom to find and develop the artist and citizen within themselves in an environment that teaches discipline, stimulates creativity, builds self- confidence, and adds a dimension of beauty to their lives, empowering them to become creative thinkers and innovative leaders of tomorrow. 

Harlem School of the Arts (HSA)’s programs and general operations are supported in part by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and are further made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; and by the Office of the Manhattan Borough President.

HSA also receives major support from the Herb Alpert Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Edwin Caplin Foundation, the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation, Ford Foundation, Goldman Sachs, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, New York Community Trust, the Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, Pinkerton Foundation, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, and Verizon; as well as from individual donors.

To learn more about the Harlem School of the Arts, please visit www.HSAnyc.org. 

Photocredit: Terence Blanchard.

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