Monday, February 10, 2020

5 Reasons to see Charlie Parker’s Yardbird

Charlie Parker’s Yardbird, Lyric Opera of Chicago, 2017 © Todd Rosenberg

1. Clocking in at just 90 minutes, this short opera pairs well with nice dinner and a stop at a swanky cocktail bar for a chic night out.

2. The score blends bebop, jazz, and American classical music, perfect for musical historians or anyone who wants to know more about this jazz great. You might recognize the influences of bebop and classical artists throughout. Plus, join on Friday or Saturday night, grab a drink and stay late for a live jazz combo performing the music of Charlie Parker in the lobby.

Portrait of Charlie Parker in the Three Deuces of New York (N.Y.), in August 1947 © William P. Gottlieb

3. Charlie Parker’s Yardbird is sung in English with English translations projected over the stage, so it’s easy to follow along with the action.

4. The story of a legendary jazz man and the quest to write his final masterpiece is told beautifully by the people who knew him best — his mother, wives, and close friends. These characters and events are based on real people who changed the musical landscape of America.

The artists of Charlie Parker's Yardbird

5. You won’t want to miss this cast in action! From the return of favorites Frederick Ballentine (Charlie Parker); Jorell Williams (Dizzy Gillespie); Shelly Traverse (Chan Parker); and Jennifer Cross (Doris Parker), the Seattle Opera debuts of Joshua Stewart (Charlie Parker); Audrey Babcock (Nica); Angela Brown (Addie Parker); and Chrystal Williams (Rebecca Parker) — both of whom originated their roles when the show debuted in Philadelphia in 2015—this promises to be a phenomenally-sung production.

Seattle Opera’s Charlie Parker's Yardbird plays February 22–March 7 at McCaw Hall.
Tickets and info: