AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Exploring SA’s black opera and the unsung heroes at centre stage
Collaboration between SA and US academics unearths a rich history
American academic Naomi André’s interest in SA opera was first sparked in 2010 and her writings on the subject have now been collected and published in a book. She draws on the experiences of performers and audiences to explore opera’s resonance with contemporary listeners. Interacting with creators and performers and the works, André reveals how black opera unearths suppressed truths.
These truths provoke complex, if uncomfortable, reconsideration of racial, gender, sexual and other oppressive ideologies. Yet opera is a cultural and political force that employs an immense, transformative power to represent or even liberate.