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X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X

X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X

[New York City, NY] “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X” is an opera with music by Anthony Davis and libretto by Thulani Davis. Set to a story by Christopher Davis, the opera is based on the life of the civil rights leader Malcolm X.

In a rambling sentence, The New York Times tells us about how the opera unfolds:

“In biopic style, the libretto sketches an outline of a short but eventful life: the murder of Malcolm’s father when Malcolm is a boy in Lansing, Mich.; his mother’s mental breakdown; his move to live with his half-sister in Boston, where he falls in with a fast crowd and ends up in prison; his jailhouse conversion to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam; the success of his Black nationalist ministry; his rift with Muhammad over tactics; his pilgrimage to Mecca; and the glimmers of a more universalist ideology of peace and racial unity, which he barely gets a chance to expound before his assassination in 1965, at just 39.”

That description takes as long to read as it has taken The Metropolitan Opera to be get around to staging a production.

Having premiered in 1985 at the American Music Theater Festival in Philadelphia, “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X” finally receives its premiere at The Met, Nov. 3 – Dec. 2, 2023.


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