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“Champion,” an opera about welterweight boxer Emile Griffith will have its run at the Lyric Opera of Chicago from Jan. 27 to Feb. 11. Photo by Scott Suchman – Washington National Opera.

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Justin Austin Talks ‘Champion’

The story of welterweight boxer Emile Griffith, in the form of an opera written by composer Terence Blanchard, is coming to the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Saturday, Jan. 27th. Justin Austin portrays young Emile in the Lyric performance of “Champion.” Both of his parents are opera singers and he was exposed to the theatre at a very young age. Being around Black opera singers at a young age helped him realize that was something he wanted to do. He started singing at the age of 3 and professionally at age 4, performing the boy Soprano part of Scipio in “Porgy and Bess.”