NPR

'My Voice Should Be Heard': #MeToo And The Women Of Opera

Three women — a soprano, a mezzo-soprano, and a vice president of opera programming — join NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro for a conversation about harassment and inequity in the opera world.
Mezzo-soprano Aleks Romano performs in Carmen in Concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on April 21, 2018. Source: Shannon Finney

The #MeToo movement has been a cultural reckoning across industries, from Hollywood to restaurants — but one of the oldest that's been affected is classical music. In March, James Levine, a longtime conductor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, was fired for allegations of sexual misconduct. And now, centuries-old works from Carmen to Don Giovanni are being challenged for misogynistic plots and themes.

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro spoke with three women — opera singers Leah Hawkins and Aleks Romano, as well as Kim Witman, vice president of opera and classical programming at Wolf Trap Opera in Virginia — about their experiences and reaction to the #MeToo movement in the opera world. Hear the full conversation at the audio link and read an edited transcript below.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
'Modern Love' Is An Uneven Tour Of New York Romance
Amazon's adaptation of the "Modern Love" column from the New York Times boasts a big, interesting cast. The stories, on the other hand, aren't so great.
NPR3 min read
Could This Tree Be An Eco-Friendly Way To Wean Indonesian Farmers Off Palm Oil?
Palm oil plantations have led to widespread deforestation in Indonesia. But now some farmers are turning to a different crop — damar, a kind of anti-palm oil, grown in forest-based farms.
NPR3 min read
U.K. Parliament Votes To Delay Vote On Johnson's Breakthrough Brexit Plan
The Letwin Amendment, approved 322 to 306 on Saturday, will force British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to request an extension to the Oct. 31 no-deal deadline.