This is a past event.
When: Sat., Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m., Wed., March 19, 7:30 p.m., Thu., March 20, 7:30 p.m. and Sun., March 23, 3 p.m. 2014
Price: $35-$125
When Duke Ellington died in 1974, he left his "street opera," Queenie Pie, mostly unfinished, so it's been a creative challenge for the few folks who’ve produced it since its premiere in 1986. The story, set in Harlem in 1937 as well as on a fantasy tropical island, is very loosely inspired by the life of pathbreaking entrepreneur and cosmetics queen Madam C.J. Walker. It includes an ill-fated love triangle and a competition that raises questions about ambition, prejudice, and concepts of beauty. Chicago Opera Theater’s version (a coproduction with Long Beach Opera) fills out the wide-ranging score with selections from the Ellington canon. It also features a freshly adapted libretto by director Ken Roht and new orchestrations by conductor Jeff Lindberg. Karen Marie Richardson, whose rich alto was a hit a few weeks ago in the Auditorium Theatre’s Too Hot to Handel, has the title role; Lindberg conducts the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. —Deanna Isaacs

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