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Every Voice with Terrance McKnight
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Every Voice with Terrance McKnight

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“Every Voice with Terrance McKnight” is a show that spotlights the vibrant stories and perspectives that reflect the whole of the American musical experience.

There are many different kinds of classical music, depending on where you are in the world. While this music typically preserves the traditions of a given society, classical music in America remains wedded to its Western European roots. On this show, we want to know why — and what America’s classical music really sounds like. Through interviews, historical investigation, and personal storytelling, Terrance McKnight unearths the hidden voices that have been shaping our musical traditions all along.

Our debut season examines the representation of Blackness in opera. While character flaws are universal, stereotypes often fall along racial lines. We look at the loneliness, jealousy, self-loathing, and cultural appropriation associated with African characters in 18th and 19th century operas by Mozart and Verdi, and we introduce the African-American personalities found in the operas of Atlanta-based composer Dr. Sharon Willis.
21 Episodes
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In the prime of his illustrious career, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ran in the realm of prominent, Black visionaries. But after composing “Zaide,” an unfinished opera depicting a slave revolt, Mozart was commissioned to create a work more palatable to the politics and pocketbooks of the late 18th century European upper class.  First heard in Vienna in 1782, “ Abduction” catered to the harsh reality of the times. As is too often the case with operas written during this time, characters of African descent are reduced to racist stereotypes, thereby oiling the wheels of Europe’s economic engine — slavery. With this in mind, we ask: what does the future look like for opera as an art form? In this final episode of the four-part radio series, the Every Voice production team goes out to Harlem to find out how today’s youth relate to classical music. Join our host Terrance McKnight as he searches for opera’s future with composers, musicians, and thinkers of today. “Every Voice” is hosted by Terrance McKnight. The Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker.  Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
At the heart of “Aida” is an African love story: the Ethiopian princess Aida is torn between loyalty to her country and passion for her captor, the Egyptian general Radamès, who loves her in return. But when “Aida” premiered in Cairo in 1871, very few Africans went to see it, let alone could afford the price of a ticket. The original audience for “Aida,” in fact, was the European elite in Egypt, whose economic fortunes and imperial ambitions were inextricably linked to the American Civil War. Verdi’s “Aida” often portrays Egyptians as white and free and Ethiopians as Black and enslaved, reinforcing colonial stereotypes and colorism. It’s a practice still present in many modern-day productions.  What role has opera played in colonialism, empire, and capitalism? Does art imitate life, or does it obscure it? Join McKnight’s investigation in this radio special featuring  WQXR’s own Nimet Habachy, as well as opera talents Limmie Pulliam, Angela Brown, Raehann Bryce-Davis, Sir Willard White and more.  “Every Voice” is hosted by Terrance McKnight. The Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
“Otello” debuted in Milan in 1887, just two years after European nations gathered in Berlin to agree on a campaign to carve up and colonize the African continent for their own profit. Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, based on the play Shakespeare wrote in the very early 1600s, centers on the Moor, Otello — an African who becomes a much celebrated Venetian general for leading a successful war against his fellow Africans.As a Black man in a position of power, Otello’s status inspires praise and worship by some and searing loathing from others. How do stereotypes of Black manhood, an all-too-familiar danger to Black men navigating life in America today, show up in Otello’s story? With the help of the Every Voice team and special guests – Maribeth Diggle, Thomas Hampson, Peter Sellars, Limmie Pulliam, Kevin Maynor, Dr Uzee Brown Jr. and Sylvia McNair – host Terrance Mcnight examines how this centuries-old story still shapes today’s narratives around Black success and how the work of Toni Morrison might lead us to a deeper understanding of these characters. “Every Voice” is hosted by Terrance McKnight. The Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker.  Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Sapir Rosenblatt. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
In this radio special of “Every Voice with Terrance McKnight,” enjoy this season’s journey into Mozart’s "The Magic Flute," its investigation into the overlooked character of Monostatos, and what his portrayal teaches us about ourselves. With a legacy spanning over two centuries, "The Magic Flute" remains a beloved classic, captivating audiences in sold-out venues worldwide. But along with the opera’s historic success, the character of Monostatos, a Moor and chief slave to the wizard Sarastro, stands out as one of the most famous and shameful stereotypes in opera — a genre with limited representation of characters of African descent. Monostatos’s longing for Pamina, a white woman, is meant to be a source of comedy, but his experience of loneliness and feeling othered is one that many can relate to. Could future productions of “The Magic Flute” highlight the depth and complexity of this character?With the help of the Every Voice team, Terrance McNight investigates the history of this opera, tells stories from his own life, and enlists an ensemble of opera talents, including Chauncey Packer, Rodell Rosel, Raehann Bryce-Davis, Kevin Maynor, Sylvia McNair, and more to understand the messaging of modern stagings of this canonical work. This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight and produced by David Norville and Tony Phillips with help from Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
With such a dark past, what does the future look like for opera as an art form? From Verdi to Mozart, many of opera’s most celebrated works famously reduce people of African descent to racist caricatures and stereotypes with tragic fates. In the final episode of this season of Every Voice with Terrance McKnight: we go in search of opera’s future with composers, musicians, and thinkers of today, and turn our attention one more time to Mozart's “Abduction from the Seraglio” to learn from a long-voiceless character. Joined by Dr. Sharon Willis, opera and theater director Peter Sellars, and opera greats Chauncey Packer, Limmie Pulliam, and more. This episode is written, hosted and produced by Terrance McKnight with support from David Norville. The Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Sapir Rosenblatt Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. A transcript of this episode is available on our website: everyvoicepodcast.org
Mozart’s “The Abduction from the Seraglio” was first heard in Vienna in 1782, commissioned by Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II to cater to the German-speaking audience of the capital city. Joseph II and Mozart had more in common than just their native tongue. Joseph II championed liberal ideas, equality, and religious freedom, while some experts interpret Mozart's operas as striving to be liberatory. But 1780s Europe was financially entwined with human trafficking, and the ideals of enlightenment and freedom didn’t apply to every human.  In “Abduction,” those real-world restrictions — and the ramifications they have for Mozart’s characters — are on full display. This week on Every Voice with Terrance McKnight: In “Abduction from the Seraglio,”  Pasha Selim subjects both European  women and men of African descent to servitude within his haram. But their dramatic treatment — which characters get to enjoy escape and victory, and which characters do not — tend to uphold stereotypes of race, class and sex. We hear from the voices of Jennifer Welch Babige as Konstanze and Blonde, Sir Willard White as Osmin, and Nathan Stark as Pasha Selim. This episode is written, hosted and produced by Terrance McKnight with support from David Norville. The Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Sapir Rosenblatt Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to the Livermore Valley Opera and the Metropolitan Opera for the use of their performances of “Abduction from the Seraglio.” This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.A transcript of this episode is available on our website: everyvoicepodcast.org
In the prime of his illustrious career, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ran in the realm of prominent, Black visionaries, composed the radical (unfinished) opera “Zaide” depicting a slave revolt, and even shared a home with famed Senegalese / French composer Joseph Boulogne, known as the Chevalier de Saint Georges. The Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, a supporter of Mozart, was also progressive for his time. During his reign, he was known for his religious tolerance, abolition of serfdom, and public friendship with Angelo Solimon, a man of African descent.But having Black friends doesn’t mean you’re willing to sacrifice political standing and a payday. And though both men may have dreamed of a better world, “The Abduction from the Seraglio,'' commissioned by Joseph II,  catered to the harsh reality of the times, oiling the wheels of Europe's economic engine — slavery. This week on Every Voice with Terrance McKnight: Sir Williard White as Osmin, the enslaved eunuch, and Soprano Jennifer Welch-Babidge as Blonde navigate the fiction of race as two enslaved characters in “The Abduction from the Seraglio.”This episode is written, hosted and produced by Terrance McKnight with support from David Norville. The Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to the Livermore Valley Opera and the Metropolitan Opera for the use of their performances of “Abduction from the Seraglio.” This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.A transcript of this episode is available on our website: everyvoicepodcast.org
All too often, characters of African descent in operas written during the 18th and 19th centuries are defined as the institution of slavery and the idea of inferiority.  But today’s composers, like Dr. Sharon Willis, aim to write about Black life in order to uplift the community where she lives and works. She says she has “no use” for the depiction of Black people as “buffoons or vixens or mammies.” This week on Every Voice with Terrance McKnight: we return to Dr. Willis’s music, and hear about a 19th century African American family that inspired one of her sixteen operas. And by contrast, we’ll discuss Mozart’s opera “The Abduction from the Seraglio," in which he explores the theme of slavery and freedom, however freedom is a birthright for some, not for all.  Correction made on May 14, 2023: This episode was updated clarify that Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II commissioned Mozart’s opera “Abduction from the Seraglio.”This episode is written, hosted and produced by Terrance McKnight. The Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to Dr. Sharon Willis for her original compositions and the Livermore Valley Opera for the use of their performance of Abduction from the Seraglio.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
When “Aida” premiered in Egypt in 1871, it delivered some not-so-subtle messaging in the dramatization of light-skinned Egyptians dominating dark-skinned Ethopians. Within two years, the man who commissioned “Aida,” Egypt’s Khedive Ishmael Pasha, lived out this fantasy of conquest, mobilizing the nation’s army with help from former American Confederate veterans.. In this episode of Every Voice with Terrance McKnight, our final installment on Giuseppe Verdi's “Aida,” we’re joined by Limmie Pullman, Angela Brown, Raehann Bryce-Davis, and Sir Williard White to revel in the drama of this opera and consider to what extent life imitates art. This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight. The Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
“Opera has always been not just adjacent to colonial conquest, but perhaps … quite a large part of it.” Pranathi Diwakar, Every Voice with Terrance McKnight researcher. When the US and British cotton industry was disrupted by the American Civil War in the 1860s,  Egypt, led by Khedive Ismail Pasha, moved to capitalize on Britain's demand for the valuable raw material. Egypt’s new, booming industry led to a polarizing reality for the region, the use of enslaved East Africans as a labor force, and a new class of rich, European leviathans to entertain in Cairo. Thus, the birth of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida” for premier at Cairo’s newly constructed opera house.For “Aida’s” original audience, the opera represented familiar and convenient tropes for those investing in imperialism: Autocratic rule, lavish lifestyles, and a society based on racial superiority. But this week, on Every Voice with Terrance McKnight, and with the help of opera greats, Limmie Pullman, Angela Brown, and Sir Williard White, we give “Aida” a chance to be reborn. This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight. The  Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
Aida: Off the Chain

Aida: Off the Chain

2023-04-2020:22

At the heart of Verdi's opera “Aida” is an African love story, where an Egyptian general and an Ethiopian princess fall in love. It premiered in Cairo in 1871, but the truth is, very few Africans went to see it, let alone could afford the price of a ticket. This was a European conception of the East, for European audiences at a time when Egypt’s leadership was attempting to make Egypt ‘the Paris of the East.’     Verdi’s “Aida” often portrays Egyptians as white and free and Ethiopians and black and enslaved, reinforcing colonial stereotypes and colorism, still present in many modern day productions.  Verdi’s “Aida” opera painted a picture of Africa for colonial consumption, and subjected its Egypt and Ethiopian characters to stereotypes and colorism that run rampant through even modern productions. In this episode of Every Voice with Terrance Mcknight: Joined by bass baritone Sir Willard White as the King of Egypt, soprano Angela Brown as Aida, and mezzo soprano Raehann Bryce Davis as Amneris; we hear from “Aida’s” African characters in their own voices. This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight. The  Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
In Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida,” Princess Aida is torn between her homeland of Ethiopia (ruled by her father, King Amonasro) and her captor, the Egyptian leader Radamès who loves her and whom she loves in return. It’s a powerful love story, an African love story - so why are Egyptians portrayed as white and the Ethiopian as Black and enslaved? This week on Every Voice with Terrance McKnight: We’re joined by tenor Limmie Pulliam, the first Black man to take on the role of Radamès at the Metropolitan Opera, soprano and arts activist Maleasha Taylor, and WQXR host, opera expert, and Cairo native Nimet Habachy on how Aida was commissioned to help position Egypt as the “Paris of the East” and what that means for Egyptians like her today. This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight. The  Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov
Otello: The North Star

Otello: The North Star

2023-04-0622:18

As the one Black man in Shakespeare’s play and Verdi’s opera, Otello was not only tokenized, but villainized, criticized and minimized. With such an emphasis on Otello’s flaws, how is it that Desdemona fell in love?  In her play “Desdemona,” Nobel laureate Toni Morrison and theater director Peter Sellers tell the story of the women of Otello. And in giving a long-awaited voice to Desdemona, uncover Otello’s connections to Blackness often overlooked or underplayed: a black handkerchief gifted down through generations, the roots of the “Willow” song, and a touching understanding of Desdemona as a child raised and nurtured by an African woman. This week on Every Voice with Terrance McKnight, the final installment of Verdi’s Otello, the African history and culture hinted at in the opera and uncovered and reimagined by the writer Toni Morrison, laying out the fabric of Desdemona’s nature. This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight and produced by David Norville. The  Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is  Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Music provided by the Livermore Valley Opera. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov
Giuseppe Verdi's Otello rose from enslavement to the ranks of army general and marries an aristocratic Venetian woman. It’s difficult  to imagine the rich cultural heritage of Otello’s African past; that history is only hinted at.  Through the whitewashing of his character, some may forget that Otello is of African descent. But for Iago, the identity of his enemy, Otello, was never far from mind. To him and Verdi’s high-society audience, that assimilation signaled all the dangers of the free Black man.  This week in  Every Voice with Terrance McKnight: how a handkerchief, a memento, a gift from one to his love, was used to forge a wedge between Otello and Desdemona’s union, catalyzing the brutish, dangerous, parts of Otello deemed a threat to white womanhood. And that handkerchief: simple plot device? Was it white? Was it black? This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight and produced by David Norville. The  Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is  Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Music provided by the Livermore Valley Opera. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
Otello: Haters

Otello: Haters

2023-03-2317:14

This week on Every Voice with Terrance McKnight, we go deeper into Giuseppe Verdi's character of the “Moor of Venice." Otello is a celebrated general in the Venetian army, and as a Black man in a position of power, his status inspires praise and worship by some and searing loathing from others. Otello’s subordinate, Iago, thinks his boss woefully undeserving of his success and his white Venetian wife. Driven mad by entitlement, racism, and jealousy, he schemes to “right” this wrong by any means necessary. Joined by baritone Thomas Hampson, tenor Limmie Pulliam, and director Peter Sellars, Every Voice unravels the myth that entangles Otello: that Black manhood is something to be feared and controlled, and how the same stereotypes and undertones of superiority remain an alltoo-familiar danger to Black men navigating life in America today. This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight and produced by David Norville. The  Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is  Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
Otello: UNMOORED

Otello: UNMOORED

2023-03-1617:25

“Otello” debuted in Milan in 1887, just two years after European nations gathered in Berlin to agree on a campaign to carve up and colonize the African continent for their own profit. Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, based on the play Shakespeare wrote in the very early 1600s, centers on the Moor, Otello — an African who becomes a much-celebrated Venetian general for leading a successful war against his fellow Africans. Despite that, there’s no lasting comfort in store for Otello: the rage and jealousy of his lieutenant won’t stand for it.  In this episode of Every Voice with Terrance McKnight, tenor Limmie Pulliam and baritone Kevin Maynor join Terrance to examine the character of Otello. This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight and produced by David Norville. The  Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is  Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
The use of blackface is a dying trend, but it was fundamental to one of the most popular operas of all time, Mozart’s hit comedic opera, “The Magic Flute“. Over the last few decades a number of opera companies have been working to create alternate versions of this piece, all of them attempting to shape essential messages  relevant to our society; we find out how. Amongst our guests in this fourth episode of Every Voice, is Professor Melvin Foster, a voice instructor at Morehouse College, Atlanta, who prepares young men for careers in music, including opera. And next week, Every Voice with Terrance McKnight begins the journey into Giuseppe Verdi’s “Otello.”This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight and produced by David Norville. The  Executive Producer is Tony Phillips. The Executive Producer for WQXR Podcasts is  Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Alan Goffinski. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
In Mozart's "The Magic Flute," Monostatos is smitten by the white princess Pamina, whom he is supposed to be guarding under the orders of the high priest Sarastro. His desire to love and belong is the source of anguish, as he feels unworthy of Pamina due to his race and enslaved status. Rather than serve as a commentary on the harsh racial realities of 18th century society, Monostatos instead serves as the comic relief of the opera, embodying the loud, threatening, and childish caricature which became the template for American minstrelsy.This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight and produced by David Norville and Tony Phillips with help from Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Sapir Rosenblatt. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
At over 200 years old, “The Magic Flute” remains a classic opera which continues to be taught, studied, and performed in sold-out venues around the world. But with more than two centuries of history since “The Magic Flute’s” conception, how do we best shed light on the stereotypes each staging continues to portray?In this episode of Every Voice with Terrance McKnight, get to know the character of Monostatos, the enslaved overseer of Sarastro’s temple, whose longing for Pamina, a white woman, is meant to be a source of comedy. Despite the stereotypes that inform this character, his experience of loneliness and feeling othered is one that many can relate to. Could future stagings of “The Magic Flute” highlight the depth and complexity of Monostatos’s character – and provide an important teaching moment?This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight and produced by David Norville and Tony Phillips with help from Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Sapir Rosenblatt. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson. Special thanks to The Met archives.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
Monostatos the Moor in Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” is one of the most famous representations of Blackness in opera - a genre with limited representation of characters of African descent. But many are interrogating the Black caricatures that European classical music long ago crafted and continue to cultivate to this day. In the debut episode of Every Voice with Terrance McKnight, we meet Dr. Sharon Willis, Dr. Uzee Brown, and others who are lifting the mask behind opera’s representation of marginalized voices to create something more inclusive and more beautiful for all of us. This episode is hosted by Terrance McKnight and produced by David Norville and Tony Phillips with help from Elizabeth Nonemaker. Our research team includes Ariel Elizabeth Davis, Pranathi Diwakar, Ian George, and Jasmine Ogiste. Sound design and engineering by Sapir Rosenblatt. Original music composed by Jeromy Thomas and Ashley Jackson.This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.
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