|Soloman Howard in Approaching Ali|
Sparr's one-hour opera was created under the auspices of the American Opera Initiative, Washington National Opera’s program for commissioning contemporary American opera. The libretto is by Mark Campbell and Davis Miller, based on Miller’s own autobiographical novella.
The opera tells the story of a young boy in North Carolina in the early 1960s who overcomes the loss of his mother and the trauma of being bullied when he sees Muhammad Ali on television. More than 20 years later, as a writer on the brink of middle age, he seeks to rekindle that spirit by visiting his boyhood hero in person at the home of Ali’s mother in Louisville.
|Muhammid Ali and Soloman Howard|
"Approaching Ali" will also feature baritone David Kravitz as Davis Miller, Aundi Marie Moore as Ali’s mother Odessa Clay, boy soprano Ethan McKelvain as Young Davis, Tim Augustin as Roy Miller and Catherine Martin as Sara Miller.
In addition to today's performance at 7:30 p.m., the opera will be repeated on Sunday, June 9 at 2 p.m. There will be a Q&A with the artists and creative team following both performances.
All tickets are $30 and are available at the Kennedy Center Box Office, by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324, or online at www.kennedy-center.org.