291 Mare Street, London E8 1EJ

Yardbird Poster


Closed August 18, 2017

Set in the famed NYC jazz club Birdland, the opera is as uncompromising in its artistic vision as the Yardbird himself.

Why See Yardbird?

The European Premiere of Lyric Opera Chicago's 'BE-OPERA'

For the first time in ENO history, they will be taking this European premiere production out of the central London confines of the Coliseum and bringing it to the Hackney Empire and the Southbank Centre in summer 2017. First seen at Chicago's Lyric Opera in March 2016 and then travelling to New York the following month, Lawrence Brownlee reprises his role as the titular jazz legend Charlie Parker in this chamber opera that celebrates the bebop culture of mid-20th century Harlem.

What to expect

A musical within a musical, the main premise of this opera sees the ghost of Parker travelling to his dedicated Midtown club Birdland, in order to write a musical masterpiece. What transpires next is a biographical journey of the jazz entrepreneur from his childhood in Kansas City, his addictions to drugs, his work with jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and finally leading to his stint in a Californian locked mental ward where he finally kicked his heroin habit.

As part of a new drive to reinvent the English National Opera in this latest season, this work is the first opera to be performed outside its Coliseum home at the East London venue, following English Touring Opera's 2016 engagements.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 7 June 2017


Suitable for ages

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