Grammy winner Terence Blanchard on the honor and pride of being Met Opera’s first Black composer

Composer Terence Blanchard takes a curtain call following the performance of his opera "Fire Shut Up in My Bones," which opened the Metropolitan Opera's 2021-22 season. Photo by Rose Callahan / Met Opera.

Fire Shut Up in My Bones” is the Metropolitan Opera’s first production composed by a Black artist — Grammy winner Terence Blanchard. The show is based on the memoir by New York Times columnist Charles Blow, about his difficult childhood growing up in small-town Louisiana in the 1970s. 

Blanchard tells KCRW that he could see himself in Blow’s story: “There's a lot of things within that family life that people don't talk about. While there's a strong sense of community, sometimes you have to find your own way because that community can stifle you, not in an intentional way. But you have to be strong and stick to your guns.”

Meanwhile, off the coast of LA, more than 100 ships are waiting to offload their cargo, and thousands of foreign workers are stuck at sea. And the LA City Council this week approved sweeps of homeless camps in 54 locations

In the Senate on Capitol Hill, all 50 Republicans voted against debating the bill that would’ve made Election Day a federal holiday and allowed automatic and same-day voter registration. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer now says he plans to introduce separate legislation as soon as next week.