Every Voice with Terrance McKnight — Episode 5 "Otello: UNMOORED"
The first season of the podcast examines the representation of Blackness in opera
New York’s classical music station WQXR recently launched its new podcast Every Voice with Terrance McKnight. This 16-part podcast series is hosted by writer, curator, pianist, and WQXR weekday evening host Terrance McKnight.
In it, McKnight explores marginalized voices, histories, and perspectives within the Western classical music tradition, with a focus on Black representation in opera.
Specifically, McKnight examines Black characters in the works of Mozart and Verdi – both of whom were writing these roles during the time of colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade. Those characters are then put side by side with the works of contemporary Atlanta-based composer Dr. Sharon Willis, who writes authentic operatic roles of African-American historical figures.
In this episode of Every Voice with Terrance McKnight, tenor Limmie Pulliam, and baritone Kevin Maynor join Terrance to examine the character of Otello.
The description reads:
"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."
Every Voice with Terrance McKnight