Since 2006, Lincoln Center Theater and the Met Opera have annually joined forces to produce a work that blends tradition with innovation. This production, long delayed, includes the Pulitzer-winning-playwright Lynn Nottage in the dynamic venture: her play Intimate Apparel has been turned into an opera, the first to be performed at LCT. A turn-of-the-century tale of forbidden romance sewn across racial and religious divides, the play’s design is threaded by Esther, an African American seamstress seeking love and liberation in New York. Ricky Ian Gordon’s score pulls in ragtime and the music hall, to reflect the cultural milieu of the play’s moment. —C.J.F.