“Forgotten Hollywood”- Josh Gibson Ready For Limelight…

Posted on March 21, 2017 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`An opera about  Negro Leagues’ baseball great, Josh Gibson, whose home run stroke rivaled Babe Ruth, will have its world premiere in Pittsburgh next month. The Summer King,  presented by the Pittsburgh Opera, premieres April 29th. Gibson’s life story also figured in Fences, the film starring Denzel Washington that was originally a play by Pittsburgh native, August Wilson.

“`Gibson was one of the first three  Negro Leagues players to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which lists his career batting average as .350. He was twice named Negro National League batting champ, and led the league in home runs, three times. Gibson played for two Pittsburgh teams; the Homestead Grays and the Crawfords. Gibson passed at 35 from a brain aneurysm, a few months before Jackie Robinson integrated baseball in 1947.

“`The Pittsburgh Opera partnered on The Summer King with the Josh Gibson Foundation, which is run by Gibson’s great-grandson, Sean. While Fences brought attention to his great-grandfather, the opera will tell a more complete story. A ballpark named for Gibson is located in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, not far from August Wilson House, the late playwright’s childhood home.  The museum will host a block party on April 29th, starting at noon, a few hours prior to the opera premiere, to mark Wilson’s birthday.

“`Nearly, all 14 principal roles in The Summer King are played by African-Americans, a rarity in operas (Porgy and Bess notwithstanding). Renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves plays Gibson’s lover, and bass-baritone Alfred Walker, will play Josh Gibson (above).

“`The Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit plans to stage The Summer King in March, 2018.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 at 1:12 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

Bookmark this post:
Digg Del.icio.us Reddit Furl Google Bookmarks StumbleUpon Windows Live Technorati Yahoo MyWeb

Comments are closed.