Opera Philadelphia

Schnyder / Wimberly

Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD videoPlayWatch

Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD

Music by Daniel Schnyder
Libretto by Bridgette A. Wimberly
Performed in English with English supertitles
Aurora Series for Chamber Opera

A bird’s final flight

In that empty twilight between life and death, tortured jazz soloist Charlie Parker composes his final masterpiece, revisiting the inspirations, demons, and women who fueled his creative genius. Opera Philadelphia presents the World Premiere of this freeform expedition into the mind, heart, and personal purgatory of the bebop great. Lawrence Brownlee stars as the legendary saxophonist—a role crafted around the effortless, improvisational style that makes him one of music’s most sought after tenors. Soprano Angela Brown mesmerizes as his mother, Addie Parker, and baritone Will Liverman debuts as jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie. Set in the famed NYC jazz club Birdland, the opera is as uncompromising in its artistic vision as the “Yardbird” himself.

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Listen to a radio broadcast of Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD on Saturday, July 4 at 12:00 p.m. on WRTI-FM (90.1) and wrti.org.

MapPerelman Theater

Fri, Jun 5 8:00 p.m.
Sun, Jun 7 2:30 p.m.
Wed, Jun 10 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Jun 12 8:00 p.m.
Sun, Jun 14 2:30 p.m.

Approx. 1 hr and 30 mins with no intermission.

The Aurora Series is underwritten by the Wyncote Foundation.
The production of Charlie Parker’s YARDBIRD received funding from OPERA America’s Opera Fund. Production underwritten in part by the Aaron Copland Fund for Music.

World Premiere | American Repertoire Program

Cast & Creative Team

Birds of a feather

Corrado Rovaris
Corrado RovarisConductor
Ron Daniels
Ron Daniels *Director
Lawrence Brownlee
Lawrence BrownleeAs Charlie Parker
Angela Brown
Angela BrownAs Addie Parker
Rachel Sterrenberg
Rachel Sterrenberg *As Chan Parker
Angela Mortellaro
Angela MortellaroAs Doris Parker
Chrystal Williams
Chrystal Williams *As Rebecca Parker
Will Liverman
Will Liverman *As Dizzy Gillespie
Tamara Mumford
Tamara MumfordAs Baroness Pannonica ("Nica") De Koenigswarter
  • Geoffrey McDonald Assistant Conductor
  • Amanda Consol Assistant Director 
  • Riccardo Hernandez Set Design
  • Scott Zielinski* Lighting Design
  • Emily Rebholz * Costume Design 
  • David Zimmerman Wig & Make-Up Design 
  • Becki Smith Stage Manager
  • Sara Prince Assistant Stage Manager 
  • Jen Shaw Assistant Stage Manager 
  • *Opera Philadelphia debut
Daniel Schnyder

The Composer

Daniel Schnyder

Daniel Schnyder is known as a composer/performer with a dynamic reputation in both jazz and classical fields. He recorded over ten CDs of his own music for Enja Records, Col Legno, Koch Jazz, CCnc, Universal, BIS, TCB, Arabesque and Red Records. As a performer Daniel toured and recorded with many well-known classical musicians, world music artists and jazz players.

Daniel Schnyder is Composer in Residence with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and the Bremen Musikfest 2008 as well as the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and the Absolute Ensemble NYC. He designs Programs for the Camerata Bern 2009, the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Crested Butte Festival. Learn more about Daniel's life and work.