An African American couple in Harlem is filled with hope as well as fear for their activist teenage son: The mother worries for his future, while the father, preparing his son for the realities of 21st-century America, wrestles with his own identity as a police officer, a “Black man in blue.” When tragedy strikes, the grief-stricken, devastated parents seek answers and support from their church and community. Blue’s vibrant, moving, and humorous libretto is by international director of opera and theater, Tazewell Thompson. The soaring score is by the acclaimed Tony Award-winning Jeanine Tesori, whose work spans musical forms from opera (A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck and Grounded, a new Metropolitan Opera commission) to Broadway (Fun Home and Caroline, or Change). Exploring race, violence, forgiveness, and reconciliation, Blue places timely issues at the forefront of modern opera and invites audiences to the emotional epicenter of their impact.

The Program

“A wrenching and remarkably original opera that explores deeply personal emotional truths and gives them universal resonance.”
– Wall Street Journal

Make an Event of It!

Pre & Post Performance

Pre- & Post-Performance Talks

Jazz at Lincoln Center 

FREE for Ticket Holders

Pre-performance panel discussion with Jeanine Tesori, Tazewell Thompson, and others on Saturday, July 25 from 4:00 to 5:30 pm at the Varis Leichtman Studio at Jazz at Lincoln Center


Join Blue creators Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson, and others, for a panel discussion about the urgent social issues that inspired their opera, and art’s ability to portray diverse characters and foster constructive dialogue.



Post-performance talk with Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson on Sunday, July 26



Post-performance talk with cast members on Monday, July 27



  • Large-print programs
    Large-print programs
  • Braille programs
    Braille programs
  • Wheelchair-accessible seating
    Wheelchair-accessible seating
  • Assistive listening devices
    Assistive listening devices
  • Audio description
    Audio description

Live audio description, designed for guests who are blind or have low vision to fully experience visual elements of the production, is available on Monday, July 27 at 7:30 pm. To reserve receivers, contact [email protected] or 212.875.5375.

For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact [email protected] or 212.875.5375.

For ticketing information and general questions, please call 212.721.6500.



A new opera by Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson
(New York City premiere)

July 25–27, 2020 Rose Theater

Tickets on sale April 14. Become a member for exclusive presale access.

Choose a Performance

Add to Calendar America/New_York Blue: An Opera Mostly Mozart Festival - A powerful, urgent new opera explores the joys and tragedies of an African American couple and their teenage son. Rose Theater, Lincoln Center - Mostly Mozart Festival false MM/DD/YYYY aho3e0k00zv7rk56sm4e178

Jeanine Tesori, composer
Tazewell Thompson, librettist and director
Carolyn Kuan, conductor
Kenneth Kellogg, The Father
Briana Hunter, The Mother
Aaron Crouch, The Son
Gordon Hawkins, The Reverend
Ariana Wehr, Girlfriend 1
Brea R. Marshall, Girlfriend 2
Camron Gray, Police Officer Buddy 1
Edward Graves, Police Officer Buddy 2
Nicholas Davis, Police Officer Buddy 3
Donald Eastman, set designer
Jessica Jahn, costume designer
Robert Wierzel, lighting designer

Performance Details

  • Two hours and 30 minutes, including one intermission

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Blue was commissioned by The Glimmerglass Festival and premiered in July 2019.
The scenery and costumes were originally created for a co-production with The Glimmerglass Festival, Washington National Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Major endowment support for contemporary dance and theater is provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation