May 28, 2015
Opera Philadelphia is presenting its first world premiere in nearly four decades with "Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD," the story of Grammy-winning jazz saxophonist and bebop star Charlie Parker. "YARDBIRD" was created for star Lawrence Brownlee, an internationally renown American tenor, by composer Daniel Schnyder.
The opera encompasses hints of jazz, R&B, gospel and classical music wrapped up in the story of Parker's last living day, March 12, 1955. Set in New York, the opera follows Parker as he writes his last great work.
The show will have just five performances running from Friday, June 5 through Sunday, June 14. Award-winning poet and playwright Bridgette Wimberly wrote the libretto and the show is directed by Ron Daniels under of music director Corrado Rovaris.
Two Philadelphia-trained women will feature as two of Parker's three wives in the performances. Recent Curtis Institute of Music grad, soprano Rachel Sterrenberg makes her professional debut as Chan Parker, Charlie's third wife. Recent Academy of Vocal Arts grad, mezzo-soprano Chrystal Williams is making her company debut as second wife Rebecca Parker.