I looooove the voice of Denyce Graves!
For a long time there’s been “discussion ” about the nature of roles available to gifted performers of color once they do enter the playing field.
Very similar to the shall we say “parameters under which an acting performance by a black woman is deemed worthy of Academy Award consideration. “
For as long as I can recall, really.
A once dear friend in the club scene of 90s New York city day tripped as a powerhouse Soprano who was not only frustrated by the roles they’d Never consider her for because she looked “too young in the face,” but also by the roles it was an unspoken insult-delivered by her-for her to even go out after.
We lost touch… but I never forgot that shit. And I have watched it slowly change with an attitude, honestly.
When we speak about systemic stuff… this is some of the stuff we mean. Her standing could have been tarnished for even going Out for something that…opera-going audiences weren’t used to. But she was to be glad the powers that be at Least noted she was indeed talented. #unspokenrules.
It becomes problematic.
Especially in doing something like the Mothership project.
Because some pieces, like Habenera, are true operatic favorites of mine. . . But I understand how many phenomenal performers of color were all but relegated to this work and a few others. I loooove the music. I feel the segregation embedded in it all every time.
This is where my whathaveyous for this were planted.