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Video Recorded: 04 Apr 2023

Race in Opera: Blackface, Yellowface and Casting

This webinar investigated the history of Blackface and Yellowface, ethnic and cultural considerations when casting, and the role of makeup in performance. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and engage in dialogue to help them apply learning to their own situations, productions, and companies. Panelists shared strategies and resources for engaging with donors and audiences on this topic.


  • Theresa Ruth Howard, Founder, Curator, Diversity Strategist, MoBBallet 


  • Alfreda "Fre" Howard, Makeup Artist, Faces by Fre
  • Quodesia Johnson, Social Justice Advisor, Founder of Black Administrators of Opera, OPERA America
  • Pamela Jones, Artist Development Manager, OPERA America
  • Nicholas Phan, Vice-President, Asian Opera Alliance 

This OPERA America Onstage event took place on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. 

This webinar is part of OPERA America's year-round series of digital learning opportunities that address key topics pertinent to the industry. Learn more and see what's next at OPERA America Webinars.

Looking for more opera in your life? Check out the National Opera Calendar to find out what's on stage near you. 

About the Panelists

OPERA America's Webinars are supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Programming at the National Opera Center is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.