Asian Opera Alliance reveals cast diversity (or lack thereof) for 2022-23 at major US opera houses

Over the past few days, the Asian Opera Alliance released the results of its review of casting diversity at major US opera companies for the 2022-23 season.

The study examines casting for companies such as the Metropolitan Opera, LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Portland Opera, Seattle Opera, Tulsa Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, The Dallas Opera, Opera Philadelphia and the Richard Tucker Foundation.

The study found that the Metropolitan Opera’s 2022-2023 cast comprises 73.8% white performers with 11.8% black performers, 6.2% Asian performers and 6.2% Latino performers .

Meanwhile, 63.4% of Los Angeles Opera performers are white, 8% are Latinx, 23.2% are black, 3.6% are Asian, and 1.8% come from a MENA background.

A total of 51.6% of Washington National Opera’s 2022-23 cast members are black, with 38.7% being white. Meanwhile, 3.2% of the cast includes Latin artists while Asian artists make up 6.5% of the performers.

At the Lyric Opera of Chicago, 67.3% of performers in 2022-23 are white while 25.5% are black. Another 4.1% are Latinx.

At the Dallas Opera, 69.2% of castings are white, with the Asian population getting 10.3% of casting opportunities. This is followed by the black population representing 7.7% of performers, with the Latinx population also obtaining 7.7% of the performance slots and the MENA population representing 5.1% of performers.

At Tulsa Opera, the Asian Opera Alliance found that 47.4% of actors were black and 47.4% of actors were white. The MENA population represented 5.3% of the actors.

Seattle Opera’s breakdown is 60.3% White, 16.7% Asian, 10.3% Black, 5.1% MENA, and 5.1% Latinx.

Portland Opera’s diversity profile includes 32.1% Black performers, 28.6% White performers, 21.4% Asian performers, 7.1% Latinx performers, and 10.7 % of MENA artists.

Houston Grand Opera performers are 58.6% White, 21.6% Latinx, 13.6% Black, 3.7% MENA, and 2.5% Asian.

Opera Philadelphia includes 46.4% white performers, 31.1% black performers, 17.9 Asian performers, and 3.6% Latino performers.

At Des Moines Metro Opera, 50% of the cast is made up of black performers and 47.7% white performers. The remaining 2.3% are made up of Asian performers.

With regard to the San Francisco Opera, black artists and Asian artists each represent 14.5% of the distributions (29% in total) and Latinx artists represent 9.7% of the distributions with the company. The remaining 61.3% are made up of white singers.

Finally, the organizations dug into the Sara Tucker Study Grants between 1998 and 2022 and found that 82.3% of whites were white, 5.2% were Latinx, 9.4% were black, and only 1% were Asian. Additionally, the study reported that of those who auditioned for the 2022 scholarship, 63% were white, 12% were Latina, 23% were black, 1% were Asian, and 1% were MENA.

The study noted that this did not include comprimario roles as they have not been announced at this time.

Here are all the graphics below (they were originally posted directly to the organization’s Facebook page).

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