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Article Published: 18 Oct 2021

Makeup Mismatches

A performer’s onstage appearance ideally should result from a close partnership with a makeup artist. “I am the designer, but the performer has to wear the makeup,” says Cassie Williams, hair and makeup designer at the 2021 Glimmerglass Festival. Well-designed makeup can make an artist feel empowered and comfortable onstage — and enhance the audience’s experience. Unfortunately, that is not always the case when performers who are Black, Indigenous, Asian, and Asian American are involved. Singers of color have long encountered makeup schemes that make it hard for them to “like the way they look” onstage.

This article was published in the Fall 2021 issue of Opera America Magazine.

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