Charlie Parker's Yardbird

Music is my soul.

New York City, 1955.  As his body lies unclaimed in the morgue, saxophone great Charlie Parker returns in spirit to the jazz club Birdland, determined to compose a final masterpiece. Family and friends blend in and out of his memories in an acclaimed new opera that tells of his tortured, brilliant life “with a pulsing, jazz-infused score” (The New York Times).

Charlie Parker’s Yardbird was widely praised following its 2015 premiere. The Wall Street Journal said, “its rhythms snap and swing, its melodies – including real arias – seize the ear, its ensembles crackle with energy.”

Madison Opera will be only the second company to perform this theatrical tour de force that melds jazz and opera – don’t miss it!

Click here to read more about the people and places in Charlie Parker’s Yardbird.


Charlie Parker
Joshua Stewart*

Addie Parker
Angela Brown

Dizzy Gillespie
Will Liverman

Chan Parker
Rachel Sterrenberg*

Baroness Nica
Julie Miller*
Doris Parker
Angela Mortellaro

Rebecca Parker
Krysty Swann*

Learn more about our cast!

* Madison Opera debut


Conductor: John DeMain
Director:  Ron Daniels*

Sung in English with projected text

Production Dates:
Friday, February 10, 2017 | 8pm
Sunday, February 12, 2017 | 2:30pm
Capitol Theater

Performances last approx. 1 hours 40 minutes, with no intermission

Related Events

An Evening of Rare Jazz Films | February 3, 2017

Opera Up Close: Charlie Parker's Yardbird preview | February 5, 2017

A Charlie Parker Concert and Discussion featuring composer Daniel Schnyder and the UW Blue Note Ensemble| February 9, 2017 

Opera Talks: Pre-Opera Talks:  Composer Daniel Schnyder will participate in the Pre-Opera talk on February 10, 2017

The Life and Music of Charlie Parker | February 13, 24, 26 and March 10, 2017 


Back to Overview


Romeo & Juliet
Nov. 4 & 6, 2016

Charlie Parker's 
Feb. 10 & 12, 2017

The Magic Flute
April 21 & 23, 2017

Opera in the Park 2017
July 22, 2017


Richard B. Anderson
Family Foundation

Sally & Mike Miley



Artist Underwriting 
Provided by:
E. David Cronon Trust 

Bolz Family 
Endowment Fund