Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis What Did You Think of 'Bessie' After Last Night's Premiere? What Did You Think of 'Bessie' After Last Night's Premiere? Spike Lee Finally Breaks Silence on 'Chiraq' - "Everything I've Done Has Led Up to This Film" Spike Lee Finally Breaks Silence on 'Chiraq' - "Everything I've Done Has Led Up to This Film" New York Women in Film & Television Now Accepting Applications for Its Four 2015 Funds for Women Filmmakers New York Women in Film & Television Now Accepting Applications for Its Four 2015 Funds for Women Filmmakers 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Melvin Van Peebles Bringing “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” To The Stage As An Opera

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act May 9, 2012 at 6:04PM

Long-tiome readers will remember our mention of this in early 2010 soon after I got word that it opened at the Sons d’Hiver Festival in Paris, France. 
1
Sweetback opera

Long-tiome readers will remember our mention of this in early 2010 soon after I got word that it opened at the Sons d’Hiver Festival in ParisFrance

I'm talking about Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song - A Hood Opera - a performance that's backed by the music of Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber led by Greg Tate.

2 years later, last week specficially, I had the opportunity to chat with the maestro himself, Monsieur Melvin Van Peebles, in his Manhattan digs, and Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song - A Hood Opera came up in our conversation. 

A summary of that nearly 2-hour chat will be shared here on S&A in a few days, once I've had a chance to listen to it all over again, and do some transcribing.

But in the meantime... I just had to alert you to this specific revelation; So here's what you need to know for now. 

According to Mr Van Peebles and his partner on the project Kevin HarewoodSweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song - A Hood Opera is coming to the USA, with preparations being made for that to become a reality. They are shooting for a New York premiere in 2013, and are confident it'll happen.

I should note that, as Melvin made Kevin and I aware during our chat, Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song was ALWAYS meant to be an opera, something I was never at all aware of, and I'm guessing the same goes for most of you as well.

But this could certainly be interesting; The film undoubtedly has its place in the cinema history, regardless of how polarizing it continues to be among audiences. It served a purpose at the time of its initial release, and arguably helped usher in the wave of 1970s so-called blaxploitation flicks that followed.

And I'm curious to see exactly how Mr Van Peebles and company are going to present what we've long regarded as a movie, into an opera production.

I should note that the stage certainly isn't new territory for renaissance man Van Peebles; his stage musical Ain’t Supposed to Die a Natural Death, from 1971, brought gritty portraits of black urban life to Broadway; and in 2004 he revived it with the Classical Theater of Harlem.

Stay tuned... my full report from our lengthy chat will be posted in a few days.

The above photo was taken during my meeting with him; it's the original album cover for Sweetback.


Shadow & ActNewsletter