The African American home is comparable to opera due to the drama that takes place on an average day.
By SHELLI REEVES
Last week the opera Salome, a music drama in one act by Richard Strauss, was performed by a full cast, which was accompanied by the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. The opera, made in 1905, was practically, banned in most major cities throughout the world until the late 20th century. It is a riveting performance of seduction, lust, and desire, when a young woman asks for the head of Jochanaan (Eric Owens) or, as we know today as John the Baptist.
Upon arriving the wondrous sounds of melodic voices ran through the hall. The experience is overwhelming due to the mesmerizing story, which is put into song. It is an amazing experience and the sounds will surly take away all the day to day stresses for a few hours.
After watching a stupendous performance I went to the media room and shared my experience with other people, this led me think about a few observations. There was one big difference though, I was the only black person in the media room and I did not have a superior education, which could enhance my conversation, but I held my own and kept on keeping on. I thought going to a media reception there would be another person with the milk chocolate skin that I am proud of yet there was only me. I also thought there might be at least one younger person who is under 30 but there was only me.
This led me to the question why are black people not attracted to the mesmerizing performance of opera. Opera tends to remind me of two things relating to the life of African Americans, the past and the present. In the past the slaves would sing songs as the would attempt to travel up north for people would know there story. They would also speak of God and Jesus in their songs, keeping the faith alive. Similarly, opera is just stories put to song for other people would know what happened, they also use stories of the bible. Of course there are some differences like opera is on stage and the stories are not true to their heart. Along with opera is not using bible stories to keep the faith alive but rather to tell the story and share their interpretation of what happened. Furthermore,
The African American home is comparable to opera due to the drama that takes place on an average day. Often there are secrets kept, arguments created, and blame shared. Opera often portrays a story where all three of those things occur and the singers are representing that with their voices. For instance in Salome, the superior soprano Salome (Nina Stemme) wanted the head of John the Baptist and began the dance of seven veils to try and convince her stepfather/ uncle to get it for her on a silver platter, as I said before, heavy drama.
Thus, here’s a message from me, go out and watch an opera, many of the stories of the bible are portrayed on stage, making it easy to follow along if you know the story. Also, they do have the words in American English floating above their heads for you know what there strong melodic voices are saying. Then, tell me if you liked it or not and we will feature some responses in next weeks paper.