African American Opera Research Paper

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Introduction Opera is a long lasting musical genre and its influence have stirred more criticism and passion than any other genre of music. This musical art from has survived because it adapts to whatever form of music that is popular at that time. Opera has dominated the stages for hundreds of years and every culture have been impacted, especially African Americans. They have embraced opera and made this genre of music their own. They have long been involved with this form of entertainment by taking on roles as entrepreneurs, creators, performers, and interpreters of classical music. In this paper, we will discuss the origins of opera, past and present social implications within African American communities, and modern-day opera singers. The Origins of Opera “Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform work combining (called a libretto) and musical score, usually in a theoretical setting. Opera incorporates many elements of spoken theatre, such as acting,…show more content…
High societies were eager to experience the elaborate spectacle firsthand. By the turn of 20th century, opera had become well-established in America, primarily due to the Metropolitan Opera. America’s first opera performance took place in New York. African Americans also wanted to associate themselves with the lavish form of entertainment by creating their own operas and this attracted an audience within African American communities. A famous classical Opera written by Scott Joplin, Treemonisha, highlights how African Americans incorporated black folk songs, dances, pre-blues music, spirituals, and call and response within this genre of music. African Americans have paved the way for modern-day opera singers. Their drive, creativity, and presence illustrates the participation of Black performers well before they would be allowed to sing in the Metropolitan

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