Opera and the African American – ‘Figaro Meets Frederick Douglass’ | BlackPressUSA


By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Among many other trailblazing accomplishments, W.E.B. Du Bois stood among the many African Americans who composed, sang, and otherwise reveled in opera.

In 1955, Marian Anderson broke the color barrier at the Met. Yes, Blacks in opera – it’s a thing.

Opera is as much a part of the African American as Rhythm & Blues. It just hasn’t always been as celebrated, according to historians.

Consider, 19th century black singers like Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield and Sissieretta Jones sang opera but reportedly gave recitals because the opera houses refused to hire them.

Black churches were performing Verdi’s Requiem with all-Black casts and musicians. Coretta Scott King attended the New England Conservatory, planning to be an opera…

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