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American Soprano Withdraws From Italian Festival That Used Blackface

By: Tiffany Wong

Angel Blue, a Black person, announced that she canceled her planned debut in Verdi’s “La Traviata.” Angel Blue posted on Instagram: “Let me be perfectly clear: the use of Blackface under any circumstances, artistic or otherwise, is a deeply misguided practice based on archaic theatrical traditions which have no place in modern society. It is offensive, humiliating, and outright racist. Full stop.”

Company officials still hoped to meet with Blue to discuss the issue further. There’s a complicated and long history in the theater about dark skin. “Othello” was the first movie that used dark skin. Some parts of Europe and Russia have had much racism up until now. The Arena di Verona arrives at the worst time for Netrebko, a Russian operatic soprano. In March, Netrebko canceled her performances in Europe and America. The recent photos Netrebko posted to Instagram, which showed her makeup covering her entire body, received more than 1,000 comments calling her out.

Angel Blue is still listed for performances of “La Traviata.” Tons of people support Angel Blue’s decision.

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