Anthony: Minnesota Opera’s ‘The Fix’ recounts 1919 World Series scandal

From Michael Anthony at the Minnesota Post on March 14, 2019:

It takes talent to compose an opera. Wearing the right hat is also important.

In the autumn of 2016, faced with the prospect of writing a two-hour opera on the unlikely subject of baseball, composer Joel Puckett got on the Ebbets Field website and ordered a vintage semi-authentic 1919 Chicago White Sox ball cap — “crafted from genuine wool.” When the cap arrived at his home in Baltimore, Puckett put it on, sat down at the piano and began to improvise — singing and playing — the first scene of an opera that takes place in Greenville, S.C., at the modest home of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, one of the most famous, gifted and perhaps saddest players in baseball history.

The result of Puckett’s efforts, encompassing more than two years of work, will be unveiled Saturday night at the Ordway Music Theater in the form of a new opera titled “The Fix.” Commissioned and produced by Minnesota Opera as part of its enterprising New Works Initiative, the opera recounts the infamous Black Sox Scandal of 1919, wherein Jackson and seven teammates of the Chicago White Sox were accused of conspiring with gamblers to throw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. Charged with nine counts of conspiracy to defraud, they were acquitted in a jury trial in 1921, but newly appointed baseball commissioner Judge Kenesaw “Mountain” Landis barred them for life from professional baseball.

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Originally published: March 14, 2019. Last Updated: March 14, 2019.