A color blind Porgy and Bess?
Posted 20 March 2002 - 11:49 AM
All-Black Casts for 'Porgy'? That Ain't Necessarily So
I don't want to excerpt anything from the article, because there are several views presented. Issues include: the opera doesn't get performed often enough because most opera houses don't have enough black singers for the roles (an argument for having enough black singers for the roles, IMO smile.gif ) yet a prominent black singer -- and honored soldier in the fight to integrate opera -- is quoted as saying that he thinks it's time for the ban on white singers to be raised.
I think it's an interesting topic -- what do you think? (This discussion will be far richer if everyone reads the article smile.gif )
Posted 21 March 2002 - 01:50 PM
Posted 21 March 2002 - 02:20 PM
I watched part of the broadcast -- not all, unfortunately -- and another thought struck me. The "darkness," if I may say that, of the voices. There's a richness, a different timbre, to black singers, I'm sure emanating from the gospel tradition (not anything to do with racially-mandated vocal chords!) that's very distinctive. In the same way that Russian singing, to me, always sounds very rich and sweet -- and lower than Western European singing. The Irish tenor is different from the Italian, French or Russian tenor. I don't know anything about singing. I imagine there's something to do with the training and tradition. It's as distinctive to me as style (can be) in ballet.
I did think the author's example of a black Desdemona and a white Othello was interesting. In that case, it did seem that casting was color blind -- and a good thing.
Posted 21 March 2002 - 04:04 PM
Posted 21 March 2002 - 04:19 PM
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