Listen. Learn. Local.
Feb. 27, 2023

In Harmony with Piedmont Opera - People of Color in the Opera World

In Harmony with Piedmont Opera - People of Color in the Opera World

In this podcast, we discuss issues surrounding race and the experiences of people of color in the opera world.  Our two guests are Marsha Thompson and The Reverend Kenneth A. Pettigrew

Ms. Thompson began her musical studies as a violinist. During her time as a violinist, she played in regional symphony orchestras in Louisiana and Texas including, Galveston Symphony, The Woodlands Symphony Orchestra, Southeast Louisiana Symphony and Texas Music Festival Symphony Orchestra. Ms.Thompson decided to sing full-time after receiving a full scholarship to the prestigious Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA to study with Marilyn Horne.

Since then, she has sung the roles of Tosca, AIDA, Abigaille, Sieglinde, Violetta, and several other leading ladies. The New York Times describes her voice in the role of Violetta as “a warm agile soprano with a secure technique,” Opera News stated of her “Pace, pace, mio Dio” that “[she sang] with a cascade of refined yet plush Italianate sound; …an expertly introspective performance.” Ms. Thompson has performed with Teatro Municipal de São Paulo, Union Avenue Opera, New York City Opera, New York Grand Opera, Opera Carolina, and Mississippi Opera, to name a few.


Reverend Kenneth A. Pettigrew - Executive Director, Winston Lake Family YMCA and REACH Center

Preacher, liturgist, and community organizer, Kenneth is a native of Winston-Salem and an emerging voice in progressive Christianity. He has served as pastor of Shouse Temple CME Church in Winston-Salem and currently oversees operations and worship services at St. John CME Church under the leadership of Dr. Regina L. Reese-Young. Kenneth is also the Executive Director at the Winston Lake YMCA, having previously served with the Winston-Salem Urban League, the United Way of Forsyth County with Faith-Based Community Engagement and the Place Matters Initiative. His work is dedicated to building relationships with faith communities, bridging the gap between sacred and secular for intentional partnerships for the building of strong communities. He holds both the Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Master of Divinity from the Wake Forest University School of Divinity. At the 2016 Connectional Youth and Young Adult Conference in Memphis, Tennessee, Minister Pettigrew was elected as Chaplain of the Connectional Young Adult Ministry of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. He is the founder and principal consultant of Sanctuary Consulting, LLC—a firm dedicated to equipping faith communities and nonprofits with the tools for transformative and impactful community engagement.

The Triad Podcast Network is presented by The Ginther Group Real Estate, Ashley McKenzie-Sharpe with Highlands Residential Mortgage and Three Magnolias Financial Advisors 

See for privacy information.