New York Opera Festival 2019: The Vocal Village Showcases ‘Artists of Color in Opera’

By David Salazar

The New York Opera Fest 2019 kicked off on Monday, April 29 and for the next several weeks, New Yorkers will get ample opportunity to enjoy opera in a variety of unique ways. As has been OperaWire’s tradition over the years, we have reached out to a number of the companies participating in the festival and have asked them a series of questions that will allow our readers to get to know them a bit.

The Vocal Village, Inc. is a brand-new company that is set to showcase “Artists of Color in Opera” on May 28, 2019.

Tell us why you’re excited to participate in this year’s New York Opera Festival.

We are a new organization, and the Panel Discussion: Artists of Color in Opera is our debut event. We are looking forward to connecting with the larger NYC opera community for this important discussion.

What themes and/or issues are addressed in your production, and how are they relevant to your company and its mission?

Our mission is to empower people of color through amplifying the many contributions ethnically diverse artist have made to the art form of opera. This panel features internationally renowned artists of color in opera to tackle barriers of historical and systemic racism in the art form and build solutions for equity.

What is something special or unique about your production that NYC audiences can look forward to?

The panel discussion will pull together a collective of amazing artists working in the opera and classical music industry including Arthur Woodley (Bass), Kenneth Overton (Baritone), Marsha Thompson (Soprano), Alicia Lieu (Composer/Conductor), and Eun Lee (Conductor/Activist), moderated by arts leadership consultant, Anese Jackson.

What role do you think “indie opera” plays in a city like NYC and for the future of the art form as a whole?

Indie opera is an essential play space for emerging arts to make work, build relationships, and tell important stories while inspiring new audiences.