Celebrating Black Music Month with Fort Worth Opera – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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The American history of opera dates back to the 18th century, and throughout its history, Black musicians have shaped an art form that tells a story through music and singing.

“The past has completely colored and shaped who we are, but as a people, it has shaped what it is that we feel, that I feel, is important to bring to the forefront which is our history, our culture, our movement, our vibrancy through the arts, through music, through gospel music, jazz, blues, even country music. And that has a place in classical music. We come through this birth of being a musician through all these different genres and you happen to just end up as an opera singer,” said Afton Battle who was hired in late 2020 to lead Fort Worth Opera.

The classically trained singer is a Texas native and the first woman and first Black general director in the company’s history.

“We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. We stand on the shoulders of H.T Burleigh. We stand on the shoulders of Florence Price, of Margaret Bonds, our legends and ancestors who are no longer with us. And then we also stand on the shoulders of our colleague


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