How do we define opera? What constitutes Blackness? And why do we need to define Black opera?
These questions are complex, and their responses as varied as the experiences of those who relate to them. Rather than fixing definitions for, or interpretations of, BORN’s critical terms of reference, we would like to approach these issues openly, and in dialogue with practitioners and scholars from a range of contexts. Our open enquiry is one that invites conversation with those in Black opera as a lived reality and scholarly endeavor.
The Black Opera Research Network explores opera both inside and outside the traditional structures of the West. Our critical interests, broadly conceived, include:
Opera & Race
The relationship between opera and race
Operatic activities, both historical and current, that challenge the perceived whiteness of opera as genre
Operatic cultures that extend the boundaries of traditional, or canonic Western opera
We Hope To:
As we tackle these broader discussions that span many aspects, we hope to:
We hope to contribute to the expanding discourse on alternative operatic cultures
Advocate for an inclusive, socially responsive and responsible critical scholarship
Facilitate dialogue between scholars, and between scholars and practitioners
Develop and curate resources for the performance of, teaching, and research on Black opera around the world
Join the Conversation
Join our ongoing open conversations, attend an event that interests you.