Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film New Documentary Will Trace History of "Black Dandyism" (Trailer) New Documentary Will Trace History of "Black Dandyism" (Trailer) Best Performances By Black Actors/Actresses Ever? (Survey) Best Performances By Black Actors/Actresses Ever? (Survey) Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series 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? Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship 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