Show artwork for Fire and Blue Sky

Fire and Blue Sky Fire and Blue Sky

Composed by Joel Thompson; libretto by Imani Tolliver

June 6, 2024

At the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

Every family has secrets. This family is grappling with the fallout.

Russell is just a regular kid growing up beneath the shade of Miami palms, but everything changes when a family secret is inadvertently revealed. Join us for this heartfelt journey that follows a mother and son as they move past their pain and toward hope and healing.

Tenor Russell Thomas bares his remarkable story in the world premiere of Fire and Blue Sky from Emmy-winning composer Joel Thompson and celebrated Los Angeles-based poet Imani Tolliver. Deborah Nansteel joins Thomas as his mother. Featuring the LA Opera Orchestra under the baton of Lina González-Granados.

The concert will also feature an orchestral suite from Joel Thompson's opera The Snowy Day.

This production contains mature subject matter and may not be suitable for all audiences. Please contact the box office if you would like more information.

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There’s no arguing about the beauty of Thomas’ voice and the ease with which it soars,”

New York Classical Review

Tenor Russell Thomas turned agony and idealism into a gripping portrayal of the human spirit stretched to the limits.”

San Francisco Classical Voice

Thompson’s music is alive and inquisitive, in constant dialogue with itself and the text.”


Listen to Joel Thompson's acclaimed choral work Seven Last Words of the Unarmed below:


Joel Thompson
Imani Tolliver
Russell Thomas
Deborah Nansteel
Lina González-Granados

We invite you to join us for a pre-performance conversation led by Connects affiliated scholar, Dr. Tiffany Kuo and featuring Fire and Blue Sky composer Joel Thompson and librettist Imani Tolliver. The talk will begin at 6:30pm in Stern Grand Hall.

LA Opera Orchestra generously underwritten by Terri and Jerry Kohl.

Artwork for Fire and Blue Sky
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2023/24 Season