Virtual Docent Memorial Lecture

May 19, 2021 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Virtual Docent Memorial Lecture

Revolutionary Arias: Four Saints in Three Acts, Porgy and Bess, and the Sound of the Black Feminist Avant-Garde

Join Daphne Brooks, professor of African American Studies at Yale University, for an exploration of the ways in which a cluster of Black women artists—among them, legendary opera singer Leontyne Price and conductor Eva Jessye—navigated the racial complexities of two landmark operas, Four Saints in Three Acts (1933) and Porgy and Bess (1935). Both productions offered white-scripted visions of Black sound and culture in an era typified by racial modernisms. The Black women artists who engaged in these productions devised daring and subversive ways of interpreting this material—examples of a long overlooked and vibrant Black feminist avant-garde tradition in sound.