In Western Culture, narrative stories by members of peoples of the African diaspora are a relatively contemporary phenomenon. When compared to Western literature and folk tales, this type of narrative is just emerging in the contemporary arts especially performance art. However, the narrative of the black woman is still grossly underrepresented on the lyric theatre stage. Much of what is seen has been determined by strict paradigms, many of which are shaped out of classist, misogynist and racist ideologies.
Her Voice in Black will focus on some of the most popular female characters in Opera through the lens of my own psyche. As a black woman coming up in this heavily mediated contemporary society, there are more outlets and opportunities than ever to express these narratives through performance as a means of new connections with the audience, and as a memorial to our past. This performance work is about honing my artistic voice as a performing artist, and as a conduit of the collective memory of my African ancestors, who were transformed into a diaspora of peoples descended from slaves. My hope is that it will serve as a catalyst for interpreting new contemporary narratives of black women that will provide landing sites for other stories overshadowed by the master narratives of our culture.
Therefore, central to this work, is to take my place in a new oral tradition, To reconnect with what I believe to be the core intent to of art; to inspire, to provoke, to bear witness, and if done with sincerity and empathy, to transform.