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Malcolm X Story to be Told in Met HD Live Simulcast
Will Liverman appears as Malcolm X and Victor Ryan Roberton as Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. COURTESY: Met HD Live and Sun Valley Opera and Broadway
Friday, November 17, 2023


The story of Malcolm X told in opera will be screened on Saturday at The Magic Lantern Cinemas in Ketchum.

The Met Opera’s Live Simulcast Opera of “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X” will begin at 10:55 a.m., and will offer behind-the-scenes action in addition to the staging of the opera. Tickets are cash only, available at the door. The concession counter will be open.

The presentation by the renamed Sun Valley Opera and Broadway will feature baritone Will Liverman, who starred in the Met’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” as the civil rights leader Malcolm X. Soprano Leah Hawkins will appear as his mother Louise; mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis, his sister Ella; bass-baritone Michael Sumuel, his brother Reginald, and tenor Victor Ryan Robertson, the Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad.

Kazem Abdullah will conduct the newly revised score, which provides a jazz-influenced setting for Thulani Davis’s libretto.

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis’s groundbreaking opera, which premiered in 1986, imagines Malcolm as an Everyman whose story transcends time and space. The story by Christopher Davis focuses on his personal transformation and on the way others perceived him—from a victim of poverty to a leader-agitator to martyr.

Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, was an American Muslim minister who lived in a series of foster homes after the death of his father and hospitalization of his mother. He joined the Nation of Islam while imprisoned for larceny and burglary, and became a powerful advocate for Black empowerment.

Eventually, he became disillusioned with the Nation of Islam. Shortly after, he was assassinated in 1965 at age 39 in New York City. Three Nation of Islam members were charged with the murder, but to this day there are still questions about what role other members of the Nation of Islam or even law enforcement agencies may have played in his assassination.

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