Mtn. Talk: KY Opera’s “Oh Freedom”
In this episode of Mountain Talk we were joined in the studio by the cast of Kentucky Opera’s show Oh Freedom. Oh Freedom is named after the spiritual of the same name, which was inspired by the emancipation of slavery. The song celebrates the hope found in both a life after death as well as in post slavery liberty. Like many spirituals, this song was influenced by musical roots from West Africa, and the multiple messages have continued to prove relevant through different periods of history as this song was a favorite of activists within the Civil Rights Movement some eighty years after its inception.
Since the program’s start in 2009/10 Season, the tour has seen over 100,000 students throughout the Kentuckiana region. Aligning with 4th grade social studies curriculum, the program engages students in discussion, encouraging them to really evaluate what they have studied in the classroom. The program also demonstrates the ability of music to preserve and share history.
We welcomed soprano Jazmin Salaberrios, tenor Marquese Carter, and pianist Arthur Bosarge into the studio. They performed segments of the show, talked about the importance music and art in education, explained how opera singers amplify their voices without microphones, talked about the challenges of wearing a corset on stage, and spoke about the power of music to connect us across difference.