“…you may try your best to repress a truth, but you cannot because it hurts! It’s literally painful. And until you release it, it will feel like a fire shut up in my [your] bones.”
-Charles M. Blow, Author of Fire Shut Up in My Bones
Tickets are sold out to jazz great Terence Blanchard’s  “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” , the first opera by a black composer to be featured at New York City’s prestigious Metropolitan Opera.
This is not “Oklahoma!”. There are no songs here that will become popular hits, later sung by schoolchildren. The music is instead somber, in a minor key. The story is powerful and moving – a coming of age story set in the Deep South; a story of sexual abuse and resilience.
That story is based on the autobiographical memoir  of New York Times op-ed columnist Charles M. Blow .
The son of a hardworking mother and feckless father, Charles (known then as “Char’es-Baby”) was a lonely child, the youngest of five brothers raised in poverty. Molested at the age of 7 by an older cousin who described the abuse as “just a game” and threatened him with death if he disclosed the secret, Charles was afterwards tormented by self-blame and homosexual desires.
The central question posed by the opera is whether an adult Charles will take revenge on his predator, in an effort to kill the part of himself he despises.
In the end, Charles realizes that he is “made in God’s image: glorious and scarred…magnificent and flawed.”
“Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him, Nor speak anymore in His name.’ But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not” (Jer. 20: 9).
 Wikipedia, Terence Blanchard, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terence_Blanchard.
 DirecTV, Great Performances at the Met (S16, E3), https://www.directv.com/tv/Great-Performances-at-the-Met-ejlXL3VGay8xbzg9/Fire-Shut-Up-in-My-Bones-TXpaSFV2M2RCbTE0bi9aTGhZUmxLZz09.
 Charles M. Blow, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, HarperCollins Publishers (2014).
 Wikipedia, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_Shut_Up_in_My_Bones.
 SuperSummary, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones”, https://www.supersummary.com/fire-shut-up-in-my-bones/summary/.
 Wikipedia, Charles M. Blow, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_M._Blow.
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