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Eunice Moseley
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The Pulse of Entertainment - May 25, 2021

The Pulse of Entertainment: Broadway's Soprano Prima Donna Cheryl Warfield Gives Back through A.D.V.A.N.

Eunice Moseley

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(May 25, 2021) - "Black artists were not allowed to sing operatic solos at the MET (Metropolitan Opera House)...it wasn't until (Leontyne) Price was a prominent Soprano Prima Donna...the 60's...not that long ago," said Broadway soprano operatic vocalist Cheryl Warfield about the Classical music industry and the reason why she developed the "Dynamic Divas" series that highlights three women of color Prima Donna operatic vocalists and her "Fachs & Figures: A Retrospective of the Careers of Cheryl Warfield" project - the next dated March 31st (Eventbrite.com). The last mentioned is a live-stream fundraiser to benefit the Goddard Riverside students of the Performing Arts Conservatory for the under-privileged kids of Upper-Westside, New York.

"By the 80's we were reverted backwards," she continued. "Things revert back all the time. Mainstream thinks because Price made it, that you've overcome (racism)."

Cheryl, who has worked in that Classical industry for a long time, knows better. She knows that opportunities, for those of color, in the operatic world have to constantly be created for them. To inspire that move and encourage those of color who desire to be Soprano Prima Donnas Warfield has become a Teaching Artist that works with young kids through several non-profit organizations such as her A.D.V.A.N. (Association for the Development of Vocal Artistry & Neighborhoods) and the Performing Arts Conservatory.

"To be an artist (of color)...it's no different than driving while black, we are monitored...and treated different. Only a few of us have overcome," Cheryl added.

The Broadway Soprano Prima Donna pointed out that the back-and-forth changes of exclusivity to certain roles are also seen in commercials - when it comes to people of color. I agreed pointing out that we are most likely coupled with someone outside our race, while other races get to "couple" with their own race.

cherylwarfield5.jpg"We have to ensure progress," Warfield said with conviction. "That's my concern."

Cheryl informed me that there are lots of young and up-and-coming black vocalists who love and was trained in Classical music looking for projects.

"What we don't know, because of all the restraints in mainstream America, is that every year graduating people of color - who want to be a part of Classical music - can't get doors opened," she said. "You just never hear of it."

"I have a program to help children in that area...I am a Teaching Artist," Cheryl pointed out. "Usually it's all girls...but we are trying to get boys interested. Fortunately I was recognized and they pay its Teaching Artists."

Warfield was approached to be a paid Teaching Artist when she was already volunteering with them (the Performing Arts Conservatory) to work with their kids interested in Classical music. Her last public show (before the pandemic) was with a full orchestra with funding going, not only to her 501C3 A.D.V.A.N. organization, but to the students of Goddard Riverside - of the Performing Arts Conservatory in Upper-West-side, New York.

"I want my opera company to be a guiding light. The (‘Retrospective') live-stream program is of my career, created for another not for profit on the upper-west side of New York. It's considered an affluent elitist area in New York, near the Lincoln Center - the hob of music which is not often affordable to those in the same zip code that are living in the housing projects located in the backyard of the Lincoln Center...and who have no access," she stated. "My not-for-profit started in Columbus, Ohio when I was an aspiring artist, the Association of the Development of Vocal Artistry & Neighborhoods. I started it to give opportunities to performers in Columbus, not just blacks...those that are oppressed - everybody."

Cheryl's last full orchestra program had artists of all colors cast. Her series "Dynamic Divas II: Stories of African-American Sopranos Who Inspired and Enrich" highlighted the careers of three ground-breaking Prima Donnas and was about to cover the last one, the career of Leontyne Price, when the pandemic shut down all venues. Price was the first black leading lady (Prima Donna) at the Metropolitan Opera House (MET). Warfield is a seasoned Soprano vocalist who has performed in over 15 Prima Donna roles on Broadway and throughout Europe. 
www.MoreOpera.com

 

SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice MoseleyMS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Timeswww.ThePulseofEntertainment.comEVENTS: "Uplifting Minds II" Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 22nd year. Next events are coming Baltimore Saturday April 17, 2021 at Security Square Mall via Zoom and Los Angeles Saturday November 6, 2021 at via Zoom. The ULMII event is a free entertainment conference offering an Business Management Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or to RSVP.

www.GoFundMe.com/Uplifting-Minds-II-Entertainment-Conference 



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