Acclaimed opera singer Angela Brown presented her signature show “Opera… from a Sistah’s Point of View” during a live (and live-streamed) performance at George S. Buck School 94 on Friday, Nov. 8.
The renowned soprano is an IPS alum. She graduated from Crispus Attucks High School and is also a member of the Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame.
Friday’s interactive school visit was made possible by a grant awarded by Create Indy to Brown’s new nonprofit, Morning Brown Inc., which is dedicated to bridging the gap between access to live performances and students. Indianapolis Opera has also partnered with Morning Brown Inc. to build awareness and community alliances for opera throughout Indiana. The organization streamed the program Friday morning from its Facebook account.
Students and staff at George S. Buck were excited about the performance.
“We know arts integration is essential for our students and our community. Our goal is to continually expose our students to different opportunities that enable them to embrace various forms of art,” said Principal Amanda Milliken.
Brown’s visit included a Q&A session for students to ask the singer about her life and career.
One student asked how Brown became famous. Brown’s response: “Am I famous, girl? I worked very hard.”
Another student asked Brown how she learned to sing. “You never stop learning,” she said.
An added bonus of the visit included an educational video produced by Morning Brown Inc. that the students viewed before the performance. Produced by funds from the Create Indy grant, the video “breaks the opera ice” for students by introducing them to opera lingo, people in the opera field, and characters in opera that reflect a wide diversity of people.
Traveling the world as an international opera star, Brown noticed something about audiences.
“I would see very few people who looked like me,” she said.
On the surface, it looked like a racial divide, but when Brown performed at schools and universities across the country, she realized the gap was bigger than race. This compelled her to create her show “Opera…from a Sistah’s Point of View,” which dispels the myths surrounding opera. Through Brown’s not-so-serious takes on opera stories and by demonstrating the ethnic, geographic and socio-economic diversity portrayed in opera characters, she helps students from all walks of life and races find themselves in and enjoy the art form.
Brown’s multigenre career has been lauded on the front page of The New York Times, CNN, CBS, in Oprah Magazine and Reader’s Digest. With classical and pops engagements spanning six continents, Brown has graced the leading opera and symphonic stages of the world. Her vocal artistry is featured on the two-time Grammy Award winning recording “Ask Your Mama.”
But nothing gives her more joy than sharing her voice in her hometown of Indianapolis!