Black Opera: History, Power, Engagement
by Naomi Andre
University of Illinois Press, 2018
eISBN: 978-0-252-05061-9 | Cloth: 978-0-252-04192-1 | Paper: 978-0-252-08357-0
Library of Congress Classification ML1700.A53 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 782.108996

From classic films like Carmen Jones to contemporary works like The Diary of Sally Hemmings and U-Carmen eKhayelitsa, American and South African artists and composers have used opera to reclaim black people's place in history. Naomi André draws on the experiences of performers and audiences to explore this music's resonance with today's listeners. Interacting with creators and performers, as well as with the works themselves, André reveals how black opera unearths suppressed truths. These truths provoke complex, if uncomfortable, reconsideration of racial, gender, sexual, and other oppressive ideologies. Opera, in turn, operates as a cultural and political force that employs an immense, transformative power to represent or even liberate. Viewing opera as a fertile site for critical inquiry, political activism, and social change, Black Opera lays the foundation for innovative new approaches to applied scholarship.

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