Blue, English National Opera, April 2023

Growing up as a black male in Harlem, New York there are rules for avoiding police attention, for example by never ever running away. His father, a police officer — who corrects him whenever he uses the term cop — has taught him these rules. A loving and caring man who won’t be pushed around he maintains his cool even as his student artist and activist son accuses him of being a white man’s dog. However it all starts delightfully when the expectant mother invites her girlfriends together to announce her pregnancy. When they learn it’s to be a boy they are horrified, “Thou shalt bring no black boys into this world” is their refrain, but they come round eventually. The father’s friends by contrast are delighted, even jealous that their fellow officer is fathering a son. My review in The Article.

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