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Voices Carry features Black singers every night during Black History Month

Lawrence Brownlee, Angel Blue and Eric Owens, Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman all on stage
operawire.com

Black singers have long been trailblazers and barrier-breakers in classical music, and continue to be some of the most exciting artists of our time. Join us for a showcase of a Black vocal artist every night at 7pm in our Voices Carry feature.

Marian Anderson singing in front of numerous microphones
Bettmann/Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
Marian Anderson

We couldn’t feature Black classical singers without hearing from Marian Anderson, the woman who changed the course of history in classical music with her voice and with her bravery. We’ll hear a performance by Grace Bumbry, a singer with an incredible range and nerves of steel, and the first Black woman to sing at the Beyreuth Festival, the long-running home of Germany’s (notoriously problematic) Richard Wagner. Kathleen Battle’s shimmering soprano is featured in music by Mozart, as is Leontyne Price’s legendary Aida, alongside the unbelievable power of Jessye Norman.

We’ll be introduced to artists of today, like Julia Bullock, a woman who has found her way to the Metropolitan Opera via John Adams’ El Niño; Reginald Mobley, a countertenor known for his Bach interpretations but whose debut album is inspired by Jazz and Spirituals; we’ll also hear from South African singers Pretty Yende, with her stratospheric take on Lucia di Lammermoor’s mad scene, and Golda Schultz, whose debut album highlights some of the greatest women composers of the past. Listen for Angel Blue and Eric Owen’s show-stopping (and Grammy winning!) scene from Porgy and Bess.

Eric Owens as Porgy and Angel Blue as Bess
The Met Opera
Eric Owens and Angel Blue

And finally, join me for a discussion with Lawrence Brownlee. The Rossini tenor went in a different direction in his latest album Rising, collaborating with Black composers in a move toward social justice in classical music following the events of 2020.

Laura is the evening host for LPM Classical. Email Laura at latkinson@lpm.org.