flying through clouds of uncertainty on wings of existential dread
This came up several times recently, both because underrepresentation of people of colour in theatre is always an issue, and because the opera company I work for announced next year’s season and casting, and we’re doing Othello, starring this guy:
Moorish, no? Coming on the heels of our super-white Aida, this is ever so exciting.
And look, we have a relatively diverse company for opera, and they have cast a variety of singers of colour in lead parts that were written for white singers, so it’s not like this is a deliberate snub, but it is stupid. Very, very stupid. Because it’s all very well to say that you cast purely for the voice, but recasting a minority role with a white dude will be, at the very least, deeply problematic for as long as opera is dominated by white singers (film & theatre:white actors). So maybe, if you don’t have an appropriately Moorish dude to sing Othello, you could pick a different opera?
Cue the horrifying bronzer!