Michigan Opera Theatre Announces Partnership with the Detroit Tigers

Michigan Opera Theatre  and the Detroit Tigers have announced a year-long partnership exploring the role arts and sports have played in improving race relations. “Take Me Out to the Opera,” will include a series of community activities and culminate with MOT’s May production of “The Summer King,” an opera about Negro Leagues baseball player Josh Gibson.

The campaign will incorporate additional partners to provide programming that connects Metro Detroit with the themes of “The Summer King,” including the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Historical Society, the Detroit Public Library, the Josh Gibson Foundation, Rosedale Park Community House and Hamtramck Stadium. It will frame sports and musical histories side-by-side as institutions with groundbreaking African American personalities that led the way to integration.

Preliminary programming includes:

  • Residencies at Detroit schools where students will create their own operatic piece which relates the history of the Detroit’s Negro League baseball team, the Detroit Stars, with modern-day themes of equity and inclusion.
  • Performances and lectures at various locations (The Charles H. Wright Museum, Rosedale Park Community House, etc.) which illustrate the trailblazing achievements of featured individuals from the worlds of music and sports.
  • An updated production of MOT’s “I, Too, Sing America”, a lecture-recital performance illustrating the contributions of African Americans to classical music and sports.

MOT will present “The Summer King” May 12-20 at the Detroit Opera House. It tells the story of Gibson, considered one of the best baseball players of all time, whose tragic life ended just before the integration of major league baseball. It explores themes of struggle, addiction and overcoming adversity. For more information and tickets, visit http://www.michiganopera.org/opera/the-summer-king/.