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Paul Robeson Tells Why He Will Not Star in Orthodox Operas

Paul Robeson Tells Why He Will Not Star in Orthodox Operas Paul Robeson Tells Why He Will Not Star in Orthodox Operas Paul Robeson Critics have often reproached me for not becoming an opera star and never attempting to give recitals of German and Italian songs as every accomplished singer is supposed to do. I am not an artist in the sense in which they want me to be an artist and of which they could approve. I have no desire to interpret the vocal genius of half a dozen cultures which are really alien cultures to me . I have a far more important task to perform. When I first suggested singing Negro spirituals for English audi­ ences a few years ago I was laughed at. How could these utterly simple, indeed almost savage, songs interest the most sophisticated audience in the world? I was asked. And yet I have found response amongst this very audience to the simple, direct emotional appeal of Negro spirituals. These songs are to Negro culture what the works of the great poets are to English culture : they are the soul of the race made manifest. No matter in what part of the world you may find him the Negro has retained his http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

Paul Robeson Tells Why He Will Not Star in Orthodox Operas

Black Sacred Music , Volume 7 (1) – Mar 1, 1993

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Copyright
Copyright © 1993 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-7.1.33
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Paul Robeson Tells Why He Will Not Star in Orthodox Operas Paul Robeson Critics have often reproached me for not becoming an opera star and never attempting to give recitals of German and Italian songs as every accomplished singer is supposed to do. I am not an artist in the sense in which they want me to be an artist and of which they could approve. I have no desire to interpret the vocal genius of half a dozen cultures which are really alien cultures to me . I have a far more important task to perform. When I first suggested singing Negro spirituals for English audi­ ences a few years ago I was laughed at. How could these utterly simple, indeed almost savage, songs interest the most sophisticated audience in the world? I was asked. And yet I have found response amongst this very audience to the simple, direct emotional appeal of Negro spirituals. These songs are to Negro culture what the works of the great poets are to English culture : they are the soul of the race made manifest. No matter in what part of the world you may find him the Negro has retained his

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 1993

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