When bass-baritone Davóne Tines steps onto the Strand Theater stage Friday as Malcolm X in the opera “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X,” he’ll be just about a mile away from the Dale Street home where the civil rights leader lived as a teenager.

The opera, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis, follows Malcolm X through his years in Boston, his exposure to Islam and spiritual awakening he had in prison and his rise to prominence. It first premiered in 1986 and has been updated for this Boston production.

"The way that Anthony [Davis] is able to naturalize and even kind of envelop speech in a sort of extended way means that I can use really beautifully constructed words with a very deft musical context in order to deliver this character," Tines told GBH Morning Edition hosts Paris Alston and Jeremy Siegel.

So how does an opera singer embody a larger-than-life historical role, especially in such proximity to the neighborhood that shaped him?

Figuring that out was a three-year process, Tines said.

“This figure takes up more space than a story, he even takes up more space than an opera,” Tines said.

Embodying the character involved research, Tines said — reading biographies, listening to podcasts and watching videos of Malcolm X to study the way he moved his hands as he gave speeches and the way he carried his body. And, some bigger questions.

“But also, kind of in a broader sense, it’s just getting to understand — what is the mind of a person who spends their entire life trying to unify their race against a larger context of oppression? What is the American milieu that would lead someone to do that?” Tines said. “And also, what does it mean to actually be a node of community uplift?”

To prepare for the role, Tines also did a year-and-a-half residency with Detroit Opera, where he focused on how he could “be of service to the broader Black community there.”

"What is the mind of a person who spends their entire life trying to unify their race against a larger context of oppression?"
-Bass-baritone Davóne Tines

The goal was to “actually try to sense what it would be to be some sort of leader, or at least try to be somebody that was trying to connect,” he said. “That led to a really beautiful feeling when doing that production, because I felt like I had a broader family from the Black arts and community leadership world there.”

The performance at The Strand is one-night-only, but the production will be recorded, Tines said.

Theater-goers can pay what they want for tickets to the production, with suggested prices from $10 to $25. It's part of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Odyssey Opera’s attempt to make the production more accessible to people who might otherwise find opera tickets inaccessible.

It’s a model Tines said he hopes more well-funded arts organizations will adopt.

“Making it incumbent upon the audience to make up the difference between what a nonprofit is able to raise versus what their contribution should be, in some respects, is arbitrary,” he said. “Every nonprofit has a different proportion at which they need ticket sales in order to survive. But I think this is a much more equitable model in which to present art, that is ultimately funded by grants and wealthy donors.”

Tickets are available through the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.