Latonia Moore Discusses AIDA, Race in the Opera Industry, and More
Latonia Moore recently talked with OperaWire about her experiences as a black woman in the opera industry. She talked about playing the role of Aida, as well as times when her skin has been painted different colors, and why that doesn't bother her.
"I can't deny that me being black as Aida offers a certain level of authenticity that we would not get if we saw someone who was glowing white," Moore said. "But it's only because people have become so caught up in the colors of the story."
She then goes on to say that, in the opera, it shouldn't matter what you look like.
"The whole reason why I got into opera and why many people got into it was because it doesn't matter what you look like," she said. "The point of the art form is not for you to look exactly like the character you portray, the point is for you to bring the character to life through song."
Moore talks about times when she has been painted white, or even darker black, to "match" the costumes of other cast members.
"Now I could have been offended and said, 'How dare you say I need to blend in with those dark bodysuits. What's wrong with my skin?'" she said. "But I didn't do that because this is an art and in art, you're not supposed to take offense."
"I painted my skin lighter when I did Desdemona and I loved it," she said. "If someone would have been offended, I think I would have taken it off. But I would have been hurt because I thought that was a hot expression. You can't please everyone. The only thing you can do is be you and be honest and present yourself as you are."
Read the full interview on OperaWire.
Born in Houston and raised in Texas, Latonia Moore began her studies at the University of North Texas, where she originally planned to study Jazz. Fortunately for opera lovers, one of her teachers convinced her to study classical music. She continued as a student of Bill Schuman at the Academy of Vocal Arts, Philadelphia where she graduated in 2005.
While still very young Latonia Moore had won a lot of awards, including:
- Richard Tucker Foundation Grant (2005),
- first prize and audience award at "Concours International d'Opéra" in Marseille (2003)
- special prize "Kammeroper der Internationalen Hans Gabor Belvedere Gesangswettbewerbe" (2003)
- first prize and audience award "Internationalen Gesangswettbewerbs der italienischen Oper Dresden" (2002)
- Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions (2000)
She had her much acclaimed debut at the Met (Metropolitan Opera, New York) in the title role of Aida on the 03. March 2012 when she replaced Violeta Urmana on a 36-hours advance notice. Her debut was broadcasted live and world wide.
Since than the sought-after singer from New York via London to Sydney.