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Angel Blue Decided to Not Go to Opera Event Due to Blackface

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

By: Catherine Wang

Soprano opera singer Angel Blue has decided to skip the Arena di Verona event where she was supposed to sing “La Traviata”. Angel decided to skip the event because she learned that one of the previous operas the Arena di Verona held, called “Aida”, included a character in blackface. The last straw was when Russian opera singer Anna Netrebko posted photos of herself in blackface on social media platforms because she was playing the Ethiopian princess Aida.

On an Instagram post announcing her decision, Blue wrote, “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,” also adding, “It is offensive, humiliating, and outright racist. Full stop.”

This isn’t the first-time blackface had been used for theatrical reasons. In fact, it often was used, historically, both in the U.S. and abroad. As controversial as it is, the Arena di Verona tried to defend themselves, saying that ‘Aida’ is a “historical production” and that they are “hard to change”.

Clearly, blackface is a very controversial thing to do, yet many entertainment houses like the Arena di Verona still support it because blackface in opera has a long history. Regardless of such history, as a black woman Angel finds the practice abhorrent enough to skip any events associated with the opera house.

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