Washington National Opera commissions D.J. Sparr

American Opera Initiative

Composer D.J. Sparr and librettist Davis Miller will premiere The Tao of Muhammad Ali (A Ghost Story) in June 2013 in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. This original hour-long opera tells the story of a reporter’s transformative meeting with the boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

The Tao of Muhammad Ali (A Ghost Story) will be performed with a chamber orchestra and receive a complete staging by a young director and design team (with mentorship provided by WNO Artistic Advisor Francesca Zambello). Open workshops at the Kennedy Center will be held throughout its development cycle.

Complete casting, creative team, and ticketing information for the June 2013 performance will be announced at a later date.

A key element of the American Opera Initiative is connecting the young composers and librettists to professional mentors who have successfully brought new American operas to the stage. Each of the inaugural mentors—composer Jake Heggie, librettist Mark Campbell, and conductor Anne Manson—as well as advisor Robert Wood will work with the artists selected for both the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons.