As the Metropolitan Opera starts its 2021-22 season, it does so with a Concordia alumnus on stage. Chris Kenney ’14 plays Chester in “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” The opera details the life of Charles M. Blow, a New York Times columnist, as he overcomes trauma and hardships stemming from his youth in the Deep South. It was composed by jazz artist Terence Blanchard. "Fire Shut Up in My Bones" is the first opera at the Met by a Black composer.
In the video below, the Hawley, Minn., native shares his experience of getting the chance to make his debut with one of the most prestigious opera houses in the world. He also recalls his time at Concordia and offers advice for students looking to follow their passions. Peter Halverson, an associate professor of voice at Concordia and one of Kenney’s vocal instructors, shares his memories of Kenney.
The final performance will be streamed live in movie theaters across the nation on Saturday, Oct. 23.
In 2018, Kenney made his professional mainstage debut with the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center playing Figaro in “The Barber of Seville.” Read that story for more on Kenney.
When Kenney’s not on stage, he’s likely in the air, as he has a passion for flying. He is now a certified flight instructor.