Lawrence Brownlee
(c) Derek Blank

Legendary jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker (1920-1955) is the subject of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, the first world premiere in almost four decades for Opera Philadelphia. The new chamber opera was created for American tenor Lawrence Brownlee by composer Daniel Schnyder to a libretto by Bridgette Wimberly. Directed by Ron Daniels under the leadership of Music Director Corrado Rovaris, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird premieres in Opera Philadelphia’s Aurora Series for Chamber Opera, crowning the company’s 40th Anniversary Season with a five-performance run in the Kimmel Center’s intimate Perelman Theater (June 5–14).

The opera focuses that empty twilight between life and death, where tortured jazz soloist Charlie Parker composes his final masterpiece, revisiting the inspirations, demons, and women who fueled his creative genius. Lawrence Brownlee stars as the legendary saxophonist, soprano Angela Brown mesmerizes as his mother, Addie Parker, and baritone Will Liverman debuts as jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie.

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