More Than A Song with Alyson Cambridge | Black America

More Than A Song with Alyson Cambridge | Black America


>>HELLO AND THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY. I’M CAROL JENKINS, THE PROGRAM IS “BLACK AMERICA.” TODAY WE ARE JOINED IN THE STUDIO BY THE WONDERFUL METROPOLITAN OPERA SOPRANO ALYSON CAMBRIDGE. SHE WILL START BY SINGING “HABANERA” FROM CARMEN. AND SHE’S ACCOMPANIED BY MICHAEL FINLEY. ♪ [HABANERA] ♪>>ALYSON THANKS SO MUCH. THAT WAS JUST WONDERFUL. I LOVE YOUR VOICE.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH.>>THANKS FOR JOINING US ON “BLACK AMERICA.”>>THANKS FOR HAVING ME.>>I WAS LISTENING TO YOUR NEW CD THIS MORNING. DO THEY STILL CALL THEM CD’S? “SISTERS IN SONG,” AND YOU ARE DOING DUETS WITH A VERY GOOD FRIEND OF YOURS AS IT TURNS OUT.>>INDEED, NICOLE CABELL, FELLOW SOPRANO. WE STARTED IN THIS BUSINESS TOGETHER AND ALWAYS HAD A DREAM OF DOING A PROJECT TOGETHER LIKE THIS.>>I HAD TO LISTEN TO IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN TO THE “FLOWER DUET.” METROPOLITAN OPERA, WASHINGTON OPERA COMPANY, ALL OVER THE WORLD, AN INTERNATIONAL STAR. YOU ARE ON BROADWAY DOING ROCKTOPIA.>>ROCKTOPIA YES, WE DID A SIX-WEEK RUN ON BROADWAY AND ARE GETTING READY TO GO ON TOUR.>>I KNOW, I WAS LOOKING AT YOUR SCHEDULE ON YOUR WEBSITE, ALYSONCAMBRIDGE.COM. FOLLOW HER AROUND THE COUNTRY. TALK TO US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT CARMEN.>>IT IS TYPICALLY SUNG BY A MEZZO-SOPRANO AND I AM CONSIDERED A FULL LYRIC SO I TEND TO SING THINGS HIGHER. THINGS LIKE MADAMA BUTTERFLY OR MIMI IN LA BOHEME. EVEN THOUGH CARMEN SITS A LITTLE BIT LOWER IT JUST, IT SUITS ME WELL, SO I CANNOT WAIT TO TACKLE HER.>>THAT’S GREAT. I JUST SAW CARMEN, THE PLAY WITH ANIKA NONI ROSE.>>CARMEN JONES, RIGHT?>>CARMEN JONES, RIGHT! IT SEEMS TO ME YOU SHOULD BE DOING THAT.>>THAT’S ON MY BUCKET LIST. THE MUSIC OF CARMEN JONES IS BIZET’S MUSIC AS WELL. NEW ENGLISH WORDS, SO YES, THAT’S ON MY BUCKET LIST.>>SINCE YOU ARE DOING THE BROADWAY. SO WHAT’S THAT LIKE WHEN YOU DO AN OPERA, YOU ARE NOT DOING IT EIGHT NIGHTS, EIGHT DAYS, MATINEES, NIGHTS, EVERYTHING.>>IT WAS QUITE AN ADJUSTMENT AND WHEN PEOPLE ASK ME THAT I TELL THEM, IT’S LIKE AN ATHLETE. BEING A SINGER IS BEING AN ATHLETE. BUT TO TRAIN FOR BROADWAY, I DID A SPECIAL TRAINING PROGRAM. I MADE SURE I SANG EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR AN HOUR IN A HALF AT MY VERY EXTREME RANGE. IN ROCKTOPIA I SING A RANGE OF MUSIC FROM HANDEL TO PUCCINI ROCK THINGS, LED ZEPPELIN. I HAD TO HAVE SUCH AN EXTRAORDINARY RANGE FOR ROCKTOPIA, HITTING HIGH D’S. FOUR OF THEM EVERY SINGLE DAY. TO BE CONSISTENT I HAD TO GO INTO TRAINING. THE PRODUCERS ADMITTED TO ME ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH THE RUN PEOPLE STARTED GETTING SICK AND HAVING TO CANCEL SHOWS. UNDERSTUDIES WERE GOING ON. IT’S RIGOROUS. I WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT DID NOT HAVE TO CANCEL A SHOW, AND THE PRODUCERS SAID TO ME, YOU ARE OUR OPERA GIRL. WE THOUGHT YOU WOULD BE THE FIRST ONE TO DROP. SOMEHOW I MADE IT THROUGH AND I HAD A BLAST.>>DID I READ CORRECTLY THAT YOU REALLY WERE AN ATHLETE?>>OH, YES. I GREW UP PLAYING SOCCER AND I AM VERY MUCH AN AVID RUNNER AND I LIFT WEIGHTS, SO BEING PHYSICALLY FIT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO ME. IT MAKES EVERYTHING YOU DO ON STAGE EASIER.>>SURE.>>NOWADAYS MODERN OPERA PRODUCTIONS ARE ASKED TO DO ALL SORTS OF CRAZY THINGS ON STAGE, SO STAYING FIT HELPS WITH THAT.>>WE ALWAYS ASK OUR GUESTS TO PLACE THEMSELVES IN BLACK AMERICA, SO HOW DO YOU PLACE YOURSELF THERE?>>WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL IN D.C. PROPER, IT’S AN INTERESTING EXPERIENCE. FIRST OF ALL, LIVING IN D.C. AND IN ARLINGTON IS EXTREMELY DIVERSE COMMUNITY. I THINK, YOU KNOW I HAD AN INTERESTING UPBRINGING BECAUSE MY FATHER IS GUYANESE. HE WAS BORN AND RAISED THERE AND INSTILLED A LOT, BOTH MY GRANDMOTHERS INSTILLED A LOT OF THEIR TRADITIONS FROM GROWING UP, IN ME. WE WOULD SPEND EVERY SUMMER IN BARBADOS. THAT’S SORT OF MY SECOND HOME. SO I HAVE A STRONG CONNECTION TO THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY.>>YOU ARE BEING HONORED TOO? THEY ARE ALWAYS HONORING YOU, RIGHT?>>THE CARIBBEAN HERITAGE AWARDS ARE HONORING ME. I WILL BE THE FIRST OPERA SINGER TO BE HONORED. THAT WILL BE IN MID-NOVEMBER.>>THAT’S WONDERFUL, CONGRATULATIONS.>>THANK YOU.>>IT’S A MIXED CARIBBEAN, AFRICAN-AMERICAN.>>MY FATHER IS CARIBBEAN, GUYANESE, AND MY MOTHER IS DANISH AND NORWEGIAN. SO VERY MULTI-CULTURAL.>>YOU’VE GOT THE WORLD THERE. IT’S A GOOD THING SINCE YOU’RE TRAVELING THE WORLD. SO WE WERE TALKING A LITTLE BIT EARLIER BEFORE THE SHOW BEGAN ABOUT HOW YOU REALIZED THAT YOU HAD THIS VOICE BECAUSE THAT’S ALWAYS THE QUESTION. I MEAN, MANY KIDS LOVE LOVE TO JUST SING AND IMITATE OPERA, HOW DID YOU KNOW YOU ACTUALLY HAD THE REAL THING?>>IT STARTED OUT LIKE THAT, ME IMITATING SINGERS I HEARD ON THE RADIO. IT RANGED FROM MADONNA TO WHITNEY HOUSTON. I WOULD JUST IMITATE WHAT I HEARD. I REALLY DID IT AS A JOKE TO ENTERTAIN MY FRIENDS. [LAUGHTER] A FRIEND OF MY MOTHERS’S WAS OVER AT THE HOUSE AND I WAS DOING MY OPERA VOICE. SHE SAID YOU KNOW, I KNOW YOU ARE DOING IT AS A JOKE, BUT IT’S NOT HALF BAD. YOU ACTUALLY HAVE A VOICE. I SAID REALLY? SHE SAID I THINK YOU SHOULD TAKE VOICE LESSONS. I WAS ONLY 12 YEARS OLD AND I WENT TO MY VERY FIRST VOICE LESSON. THE TEACHER SAID OK, I HEAR YOU DO — FIRST SHE SAID WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO? I NAMED SOME POP SINGERS. SHE SAID OK, LET’S HEAR THIS OPERA VOICE THAT YOU DO. I SAID OK AND I HAD BEEN A PIANIST, SO I KNEW SCALES. I SANG A SCALE IN MY OPERA VOICE. SHE SAID I’M SORRY, HOW OLD ARE YOU? I SAID I’M 12. SHE GOES, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE SINGING LIKE WHITNEY HOUSTON OR MADONNA. I’M GOING TO TRAIN YOU CLASSICALLY. I SAID REALLY? I DID NOT REALLY WANT TO BE AN OPERA SINGER.>>DID YOU EVEN LIKE OPERA AT THAT POINT?>>I ENJOYED IT, I ENJOYED ALL CLASSICAL MUSIC BECAUSE I GREW UP PLAYING THE PIANO AND WHATNOT, BUT I DID NOT THINK IT WAS COOL. AND SO I TOOK VOICE LESSONS AND I KEPT IT A SECRET AND HID IT FROM MY CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS FOR SOME TIME. IN HIGH SCHOOL I BEGAN SHARING AND I DID THE HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, STUFF LIKE THAT. I THOUGHT IT WAS MUCH COOLER TO PLAY SPORTS AND FINALLY MY CHOIR TEACHER SAID I WANT YOU TO DO A SOLO OPERATICALLY FOR THE ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL AND I THOUGHT, I’M GOING TO GET BOOED OFF THE STAGE. DIDN’T HAPPEN. UPROARIOUS APPLAUSE. THEY WENT NUTS. AND I THOUGHT, OH MY GOSH. OKAY. I GUESS IT IS COOL TO BE AN OPERA SINGER.>>WHAT’S THAT TRAINING LIKE? WHEN THIS WOMAN SAYS I AM GOING TO TRAIN YOU, IS THAT EVERY DAY? WHAT WAS IT LIKE.>>VOCAL TRAINING IS QUITE DIFFERENT FROM INSTRUMENTAL TRAINING. FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN I WAS PLAYING THE PIANO I SHOULD HAVE BEEN PRACTICING TWO TO THREE HOURS PER DAY. PHYSICALLY YOU CANNOT DO THAT WITH YOUR VOICE BECAUSE IT’S A MUSCLE, IT’S AN INSTRUMENT, SO YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE. IT WAS REALLY ONLY 30-45 MINUTES PER DAY. I WOULD HAVE 45 MINUTE LESSONS ONCE A WEEK WITH MY TEACHER. JUST LIKE WARM-UPS, SINGING THE EARLY ITALIAN SONGS. THERE WAS SO MUCH THAT CAME VERY NATURALLY WHEN I WAS YOUNGER. I DID NOT HAVE TO PRACTICE AND I JUST HAD A VOICE THAT WAS VERY MATURE.>>SO THAT IS A GIFT. YOU WERE GIFTED.>>YES, BUT THEN TO PARLAY THAT INTO AN ACTUAL CAREER IS SOMETHING ELSE.>>YOU ARE TALKING HOW LONG NOW? 17 YEARS? THAT’S AMAZING.>>IT IS. I REALLY LEARNED THAT IN COLLEGE. I THOUGHT OK, NOW I’VE REALLY GOT TO PRACTICE. IF I WANT TO BE THE LEADS IN THE OPERA I HAVE TO PUT IN THE HARD WORK. IT WAS RIGHT AFTER COLLEGE, I STARTED MY GRADUATE STUDIES AT THE CURTIS INSTITUTE. HALFWAY THROUGH THE FIRST YEAR I WON THE METROPOLITAN OPERA NATIONAL COUNSEL AUDITION. THE NEXT YEAR I WAS AT THE MET.>>JUST LIKE THAT.>>INCREDIBLE. I READ SOME OF YOUR REVIEWS, WHICH ARE ALWAYS SMASHING, BUT SOMETIMES A LITTLE SEXIST BECAUSE THEY COMMENT ON YOUR BEAUTY AND SKINNYNESS. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT IN YOUR CAREER? WHEN YOU SHOW UP AS THIS BEAUTIFUL, SLIM THING AND THIS VOICE COMES UP? MY BEING SEXIST NOW?>>NO. I WILL HONESTLY SAY, IT HAS BEEN A UNIQUE CHALLENGE. WHEN I GOT INTO THIS BUSINESS THE INDUSTRY WAS CHANGING AND WE WERE TOLD BY DIRECTORS, HEADS OF OPERA COMPANIES THAT IT’S NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE TO BE OF A CERTAIN SIZE. WITH THE START OF THE HD BROADCASTS, NOW THAT OPERAS WILL BE IN MOVIE THEATERS, THERE WAS MORE TENSION AND PRESSURE BEING PUT ON ARTISTS TO MAINTAIN A CERTAIN PHYSICAL PHYSIQUE, OR TO GET TO THAT. I WAS ALWAYS FIT. AND SLIM, SO THAT WAS NOT NECESSARILY SOMETHING THAT I HAD TO WORRY ABOUT. I WILL SAY THAT THERE WAS A BIT OF AN EXPECTATION THAT PERHAPS MY VOICE COULD NOT BE SO BIG OR WHATEVER BECAUSE OF MY PHYSICAL STATURE.>>SURE.>>AND PERHAPS ALSO NOT BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY. SO WHEN PEOPLE DO MAKE COMMENTS ABOUT YOUR LOOKS, THEN THE ASSUMPTION IS, SHE LOOKS PRETTY, BUT MAYBE THE VOICE IS NOT SO GREAT.>>SURE. SO IT HAS BEEN A FACTOR?>>YES.>>ONE OF THE REVIEWS WAS SOMETHING LIKE, MAYBE SHE WOULD BE FIT FOR THE CATWALK, YOU KNOW? [LAUGHTER] YOU REMEMBER THAT?>>I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER. [LAUGHTER] THEN I WILL SAY THERE HAVE BEEN CERTAIN PRODUCTIONS OR TIMES THAT I HAVE BEEN HIRED BECAUSE OF THE WAY THAT I LOOK IS AN ASSET TO THE PRODUCTION. I WILL SAY THAT EARLY ON IN MY CAREER I THINK THE QUESTION I WAS ASKED THE MOST WHEN DOING INTERVIEWS, FOR EXAMPLE IF I WAS GOING TO BE MIMI, REVIEWERS WOULD ASK, WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A BLACK MIMI. ISN’T MIMI JUST MIMI? BECAUSE OFTEN I WAS THE ONLY PERSON OF COLOR IN A CAST.>>HAS IT REALLY CHANGED DRAMATICALLY SINCE THEN IN THE 17 YEARS? WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN?>>I WILL SAY THAT IT HAS CHANGED. I HAVE MADE STRATEGIC CAREER MOVES AND CHOICES AS NOT TO BE PIGEONHOLED, AS NOT TO BE SEEN AS JUST A BLACK SINGER. EARLY ON IN MY CAREER I WAS OFTEN OFFERED PORGY AND BESS, THE ROLE OF BESS. NOT AT ALL APPROPRIATE FOR A 23 OR 24 YEAR OLD TO BE SINGING. SO I SAID NO. I KNEW I WAS BEING ASKED BECAUSE I WAS A BLACK WOMAN AND LOOKED A CERTAIN WAY, NOT BECAUSE MY VOICE WAS RIGHT FOR IT. AND MY MANAGERS TOLD ME NO. SING CLARA, THE SECONDARY ROLE. YOU GET THE WONDERFUL ARIA, YOU GET TO SING SUMMERTIME, GREAT. MAKE SURE THAT THE SHOWS YOU ARE DOING ARE NOT JUST IN THAT. MAKE SURE YOU ARE SINGING MOZART, DOING PUCCINI AND MORE TRADITIONAL WHITE OPERAS. I DID THAT AND ONCE I FELT I GOT TO A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE KNEW ME AS ALYSON CAMBRIDGE, NOT JUST ANOTHER BLACK SOPRANO, THEN I SAID YES, NOW IT’S TIME, NOW I CAN SING BESS AND IT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS THE ONLY ROLE I WILL BE OFFERED.>>SOME TERRIFIC WOMEN HAVE BLAZED THIS TRAIL BEFORE YOU. KATHLEEN BATTLE AND JESSYE NORMAN. I WAS READING THAT THIS NEW CD YOU HAVE, “SISTERS IN SONG,” YOU TOOK INSPIRATION FROM THAT. YOU HAVE THE FLOWER DUET BUT ALSO SPIRITUALS. TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU TOOK FROM WHAT CAREERS WERE LIKE AND WHAT THEY GAVE TO THE MUSIC WORLD.>>I WAS TELLING THE STORY TO SOMEONE THE OTHER DAY. I’M NOT SURE WHERE I WAS BUT KATHLEEN BATTLE WAS SINGING AT THE KENNEDY CENTER. I MUST HAVE BEEN IN COLLEGE. MY PARENTS GOT TICKETS TO GO SEE HER IN CONCERT. MY FATHER WAS NOT A HUGE OPERA LOVER AT THIS POINT. HE IS NOW.>>OF COURSE.>>AND MY BIGGEST FAN, THAT’S FOR SURE. THEY GOT TICKETS TO SEE KATHLEEN BATTLE AND I CAME HOME AND MY FATHER JUST SAID “WOW!” IN HIS ACCENT HE SAYS, IT’S LIKE SHE WAS SINGING TO ME, RIGHT TO ME. MY DAD JUST FELL IN LOVE AND THOUGHT SHE WAS THE GREATEST THING EVER. SHE WAS DEFINITELY ONE OF MY INSPIRATIONS AND I JUST THOUGHT GOSH, IF I CAN MAKE THAT IMPACT ON SOMEBODY AS A PERFORMER, AS AN ARTIST SOMEDAY, I WOULD LOVE TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT.>>I KNOW JESSYE AND I HAVE ASKED HER MANY TIMES, HOW, WHEN, LIKE YOU, WHERE DID THIS VOICE COME FROM, HOW DID YOU KNOW YOU HAD IT? JESSYE IS SUCH AN INCREDIBLE INSPIRATION.>>SHE’S AMAZING. I HAD THE PLEASURE OF BEING A BACKUP SINGER TO HER AT THE KENNEDY CENTER HONOR ONE YEAR. I SANG WITH THE GOSPEL CHOIR. MY CHOIR DIRECTOR FROM HIGH SCHOOL WAS WITH HIS CHURCH AND SAID WE NEED A SOPRANO TO COME IN AND SING THE HIGH C AT THE END OF THIS NUMBER. I DON’T HAVE ANY GIRLS IN MY CHOIR WHO CAN HIT THE NOTE. CAN YOU COME AND SING WITH US? AND MISS NORMAN WAS SINGING AND IT WAS GLORIOUS. JUST A FEW YEARS AGO, 2015 ACTUALLY, I HOSTED THE MARIAN ANDERSON 75TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL ON BET. MISS NORMAN WAS THE HOST OF THE ACTUAL GALA CONCERT. I WAS HOSTING THE DOCUMENTARY. THEY SAID, YOU HAVE NOW INTERVIEWED EVERYBODY. WE DO NOT HAVE AN INTERVIEW YET FROM MISS NORMAN AND WE HAVE GOT TO GET IT, BUT SHE’S NOT LETTING ANY PRESS IN HER DRESSING ROOM, NOTHING. IT’S THE END OF THE CONCERT, THEY KNOCK ON HER DOOR AND SAY WE WOULD LOVE TO GET AN INTERVIEW. ALYSON CAMBRIDGE WOULD LIKE TO INTERVIEW YOU. SHE ASKED IS SHE THE ONE WHO SANG — THEY SAID YES AND SHE SAID YES, I WILL SPEAK WITH HER.>>AND JESSYE DOESN’T SPEAK WITH EVERYBODY FOR SURE.>>AND SHE PAID ME A COMPLIMENT AND I JUST NEVER FORGOT IT.>>SO YOU HAVE A BIG CONCERT COMING UP RIGHT AFTER THANKSGIVING.>>I DO, YES AS PART OF THE ATHENA MUSIC FOUNDATION. THEY ARE SPONSORING THIS CONCERT FOR US. BECAUSE IT FALLS ON THE SUNDAY AFTER THANKSGIVING AND IS THE KICKOFF INTO THE HOLIDAY SEASON, WE ARE GOING TO DO A CONCERT ON THE THEMES OF THANKS, GIVING, PEACE, AND HOPE.>>FANTASTIC. MICHAEL SAYS THERE MAY BE SOME SURPRISE GUESTS TOO.>>NOVEMBER 25TH AT THE WILD RECITAL HALL IN CARNEGIE.>>I KNOW THAT YOU DO A LOT OF WORK AND ARE SO INTERESTED IN GETTING PEOPLE ENGAGED IN THE OPERA.>>INDEED.>>BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE FEEL IT’S JUST NOT FOR THEM. THAT’S PROBABLY THE REACTION YOU HAD AS A KID.>>EXACTLY. SO ONE OF MY MISSIONS IS TO GET OPERA MORE POPULAR AGAIN. IT USED TO BE LIKE GOING TO THE MOVIES. IT’S NOT LIKE THAT ANYMORE. I THINK RIGHT NOW IT’S ABOUT EXPOSING PEOPLE WHO WOULD NOT OTHERWISE BE EXPOSED TO OPERA SO THAT THERE IS THAT SORT OF SHOCK AND WOW FACTOR, AND A COOL FACTOR AS WELL.>>MAKING OPERA COOL.>>YES! ONE OF THE REASONS I JOINED ROCKTOPIA IS BECAUSE IT MIXES ROCK MUSIC AND OPERA. THERE’S NO SORT OF WATERED DOWNNESS TO WHAT I’M DOING IN ROCKTOPIA. I AM SINGING FULL ON OPERA AND IT WILL GET MASHED UP WITH AN ELTON JOHN SONG, OR AEROSMITH SONG, OR WHAT HAVE YOU. WHAT I FOUND MOST INTERESTING ABOUT BEING PART OF THE SHOW IS WHEN WE WOULD LEAVE THE STAGE DOOR EVERY NIGHT AND THERE WERE FANS LINED UP FOR AUTOGRAPHS AND WHATNOT. IT WAS A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO I THINK CAME TO SEE MORE OF A ROCK SHOW, AND THEN WERE SURPRISED THAT THEY LEFT ENJOYING THE OPERA PORTION. EVERY NIGHT I WAS GETTING, “IT’S OPERA LADY!” PEOPLE SAYING THEY’D NEVER HEARD A CLASSICALLY TRAINED OPERATIC VOICE BEFORE. THIS MADE ME WANT TO GO SEE A FULL OPERA.>>I HAVE BEEN TO SEVERAL OF THE OPERAS IN THE MOVIE THEATER AND I ACTUALLY LOVE IT. NO MATTER WHERE YOUR SEATS ARE. FOR INSTANCE, THE OPERA CAN BE VERY PRICEY.>>HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS.>>BUT IF YOU SEE IT IN THE MOVIE THEATER YOU HAVE GOT THE BEST SHOTS EVER, YOU HAVE DONE SOME OF THOSE.>>YES.>>WHAT’S IT LIKE? DO YOU HAVE TO DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY WHEN YOU’RE BEING TAPED LIKE THAT?>>NO. THERE’S A PRE-TAPE, THEY DO SORT OF A TEST RUN FOR THE SHOW BEFORE. REALLY THE ONLY THING THAT CHANGES DURING THE HD BROADCAST IS THAT THE MAKEUP IS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT BECAUSE IT’S HIGH-DEFINITION. WE DON’T HAVE THE STAGE MAKEUP NECESSARY FOR A BIG OPERA HOUSE, SO THAT GETS TONED DOWN A LITTLE BIT. WE ARE AWARE. FOR EXAMPLE WHEN I WAS WITH RENEE FLEMMING AND TOM HAMPSON, AND I WAS AGAIN, PLAYING ONE OF HER SIDE KICKS->>I LOVE HOW YOU JUST THROW OUT HER NAME.>>AGAIN, ONE OF MY IDOLS. WE ARE ALSO INVOLVED IN A CHARITY TOGETHER, SING FOR HOPE. JUST ONE OF THE MOST WONDERFUL HUMAN BEINGS, COLLEAGUES, ARTISTS, YES. THE DIRECTOR WOULD TELL US, RENEE IS CROSSING THE STAGE AT THIS POINT. DURING THAT CAMERA PAN WE WILL PICK UP ON YOU. THEY GIVE US POINTERS AND LET US KNOW WHEN THAT WILL BE A CLOSE UP ON US OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.>>DO YOU THINK THAT’S ONE OF THE BARRIERS, THE COST OF HEARING REALLY GOOD OPERA? HOW DO WE BREAK THROUGH THAT BARRIER?>>THERE ARE A LOT OF SMALLER OPERA COMPANIES POPPING UP AND DOING OPERAS ON LOCATION. ON-SITE OPERA IS A COMPANY I HAVE SUNG WITH. THEY DID “BLUE MONDAY.” WE DID IT AT THE COTTON CLUB IN HARLEM. TICKETS WERE $25. I HAD MORE PEOPLE COME TO SEE ME IN THOSE THREE NIGHTS OF SHOWS AT THE COTTON CLUB AND PROBABLY EVER SAW ME AT THE MET SIMPLY BECAUSE OF TICKET PRICES.>>SURE.>>HOWEVER, I THINK MOST OPERA COMPANIES ARE MAKING STUDENT TICKETS, OR DISCOUNT TICKETS AVAILABLE. THAT’S A NEW THING THAT I THINK IS HOPEFULLY HELPING.>>YOU SAID SING FOR HOPE, YOU ARE ENGAGED IN ALL OF THAT.>>IT PROVIDES MUSIC, ARTS, DANCING, SINGING TO UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES. WE GO TO SCHOOLS, SING IN HOSPITALS. IT’S A TESTAMENT TO THE HEALING POWER OF MUSIC. I DID A RECITAL A COUPLE OF SUMMERS AGO, I’LL NEVER FORGET, I WAS WITH ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS AT A HOSPITAL. A MAN WAS WHEELED OUT TO LISTEN TO OUR CONCERT. HE LOOKED IN PAIN. HE WAS OBVIOUSLY NOT DOING WELL. WE STARTED SINGING AND YOU JUST SAW THIS — >>YES, AND THAT’S THE WAY I AM WHEN I LISTEN TO YOU SINGING “FLOWER DUET.” THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE TODAY, FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION. CARNEGIE HALL, NOVEMBER 25. ALYSON CAMBRIDGE, CONTINUED SUCCESS.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH.>>THANKS FOR JOINING US. WE’LL SEE YOU THE NEXT TIME. I AM CAROL JENKINS. THE PROGRAM IS “BLACK AMERICA.” ♪ [MUSIC] ♪

2 Replies to “More Than A Song with Alyson Cambridge | Black America

  1. Great work Alyson.. We are so proud of you.. that is why we selected you for the VANGUARD AWARD at the 25th Caribbean American Heritage Awards Gala..

  2. Have been obsessed with the spiritual duets of Kathleen Battle and Jesse Norman for 30 years; was thrilled to learn that Alyson Cambridge and Nicole Cabell had paid homage to them via Sisters in Song; absolutely glorious.

    Balm in Gilead | Alyson Cambridge and Nicole Cabell: https://youtu.be/s9TXGy15F3k

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