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Angel Blue Will Not Sing Soprano at Italian Festival

By: Bryan Li

Black American singer Angel Blue decided not to sing in the Arena di Verona after seeing Anna Netrebko, a Russian singer, with black makeup.

Angel Blue, a Black American opera singer, decided to withdraw from Arena di Verona, a work by Giuseppe Verdi, says The Washington Post. She made this decision after seeing Anna Netrebko wearing blackface to perform the role of a princess from Ethiopia. Blue said on Instagram that she did not want to align herself with a festival that supported blackface.

“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,” she said on Instagram. “It is offensive, humiliating, and outright racist. Full stop.”

Netrebko, as The Washington Post claims, has to build her reputation again. Her support for Putin in the war with Ukraine has earned her unpopularity, and so has her belief of wearing blackface to maintain “theatrical tradition”.

Many people have applauded Blue’s decision on social media. According to The Washington Post, Ryan Green, a Black opera singer, told Blue that he appreciated her “for standing up for us”. Green’s comment also urged that the practice should be stopped and all who support it ought to be ashamed.

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