Reflective of a familiar American headline, this new work by Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson centers on the hopes and fears of a young black couple as they raise a son in Harlem. In this story of love and loss, we see the father, a police officer, and the mother supported by a loving community of fellow law enforcement, churchgoers and friends as they respond to the killing of their son.

Find the full plot synopsis here. Find suggested further reading here.

In English with projected English text.

New co-production with Washington National Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago


The Festival is pleased to host a series of talks in conjunction with Blue with Colgate University faculty an hour prior to each performance. On select dates, an additional moderated discussion will be held after the performance. Please see the schedule below for these talkbacks.

  • July 26 (Pre-show and post-show talkbacks)
    John Palmer, Professor of Educational Studies
  • July 29 (Pre-show and post-show talkbacks)
    Brenda Sanya, Assistant Professor of Educational Studies
  • August 2 (Pre-show only)
    Carolyn Hsu, Professor of Sociology
  • August 6 (Pre-show and post-show talkbacks)
    Carolyn Hsu, Professor of Sociology
  • August 10 (Pre-show only)
    Brenda Sanya, Assistant Professor of Educational Studies
  • August 17 (Pre-show only)
    Alicia Simmons, Associate Professor of Sociology
  • August 22 (Pre-show and post-show talkbacks)
    John Palmer, Professor of Educational Studies

“The times are fraught. Lit by lightning and divisiveness. Love, family, friends and the church are there when we need them. And we need them now. We need a song to soothe our sorrows as we confront painful, personal truths. We need music in our lives and our children near to help us repair heartache; music to ultimately lift us and celebrate the bonds of sisterhood and brotherhood togetherness.” – Tazewell Thompson, librettist and director

2 hours and 30 minutes

Show Boat

Join Cap'n Andy Hawks and his extended family on a journey of love and heartbreak.

La traviata

Follow the Parisian courtesan Violetta as she leaves a life of extravagance in one of most beloved works in the operatic canon.

The Ghosts of Versailles

Follow the ghost of Marie Antoinette in this hilarious and tuneful production.


Kenneth Kellogg, The Father

Briana Hunter, The Mother

Aaron Crouch, The Son

Gordon Hawkins, The Reverend

Ariana Wehr, Girlfriend 1/Nurse/Congregant 1

Brea Renetta Marshall, Girlfriend 2/Congregant 2

Mia Athey, Girlfriend 3/Congregant 3

Camron Gray, Policeman 1/Congregant 1

Edward Graves, Policeman 2/Congregant 2

Nicholas Davis, Policeman 3/Congregant 3

Artistic Team

John DeMain, Conductor

Michelle Rofrano, Assistant Conductor

Tazewell Thompson, Director

Ellen Jackson, Assistant Director

Kevin Miller, Principal Coach/Pianist

Anna Betka, Assistant Coach

Kathryn LaBouff, Diction Coach

Donald Eastman, Set Designer

Jessica Jahn, Costume Designer

Robert Wierzel, Lighting Designer

Samantha M. Wootten, Hair & Makeup Designer

Cassie Williams, Associate Hair and Makeup Designer

Kelley Rourke, Projected Titles

‡ member of the Young Artists Program
+member of Actors’ Equity Association