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Friday Playlist by Tara Priolo

I first came across Harolyn Blackwell when preparing a recital focused on poetry by Langston Hughes. Ricky Ian Gordon wrote the song cycle Genius Child for her with the last song being ‘Joy’ as a representation of who she was. Ms. Blackwell has tremendous effervescent, sparkling, stage presence to go along with a magical voice.

She has been a massive influence on my career as I’ve grown into a multi-passionate space. The more I dig into her career, the more fascinated I become. She has maintained a crossover career, teaching, recording, etc. She always shares gratitude to the Black sopranos who paved the way for her to make her own mark. I find that she is often overshadowed by some people like Kathleen Battle in discussions of Black singers, but she is absolutely worth a listen and a read through.

I encourage you to explore her website, and be sure to listen to her sing ‘Joy’ by Ricky Ian Gordon and ‘Summertime’ from Porgy and Bess, my absolute favorite recordings!

To learn more about Tara Priolo, check out her website, follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or check out her bio on the Diversity Council page of our website

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