Under The Duvet Productions

Covering News And Entertainment.

Kathleen Battle Explores the Underground Railroad at The Metropolitan Opera by Photojournalist Lisa Pacino

Grammy Award winning opera soprano Kathleen Battle explores the Underground Railroad at The Metropolitan Opera, New York, November 13, 2016.


Photograph of Kathleen Battle courtesy of Columbia Artists Management, Inc.

Kathleen Battle is a world renowned flawless operatic soprano who has performed Baroque-era compositions to contemporary works. On November 13, 2016, she will return to The Metropolitan Opera after 22 years to perform Kathleen Battle: Spirituals From The Underground Railroad.

Kathleen Battle’s return to the Met is a one-time-only historical recital/concert accompanied by Joel A. Martin on the piano. It will feature special guests Wynton Marsalis on trumpet, Cicely Tyson as narrator, Jussie Smollett as narrator, Cyrus Chestnut on piano, Riza Printup on harp, Stephanie Fisher as conductor, and Rachel Blackburn as conductor.

Ms. Battle’s triumphant return to the Met will surely be cherished and established in history. Her greatness and talents compare to Maria Callas who in 1958, after a feud with general manager Rudolf Bing led to her Metropolitan Opera contract being cancelled. In 1965. Bing invited Callas to return to the Met for two legendary performances of Tosca, that year turned out to be her final season in opera. Ms. Battle, a Grammy-winning star soprano who had sung at the Met 224 times by 1994, when Joseph Volpe, then the company’s general manager, dismissed her from a production of Donizetti’s La Fille du Régiment. Twenty-two years later, after being courted by Peter Gelb, Mr. Volpe’s successor, who had worked with her in the past made the arrangements for her return; and we are truly grateful.


Kathleen Battle, MET Program for November 13, 2016.

Beyond The Underground Railroad

In “The Perilous Lure of the Underground Railroad” New Yorker writer Kathryn Schulz shows how “Hardly anyone used it, but it provides us with moral comfort–and white heroes.” She correctly states: “In fact, despite its popularity today, the Underground Railroad was perhaps the least popular way for slaves to seek their freedom. Instead, those who fled generally headed toward Spanish Florida, Mexico, the Caribbean, Native American communities in the Southeast, free-black neighborhoods in the upper South, or Maroon communities—clandestine societies of former slaves, some fifty of which existed in the South from 1672 until the end of the Civil War.” Schulz also stresses, ” Most white [anti-slavery activists] faced only fines and the opprobrium of some in their community, while those who lived in anti-slavery strongholds, as many did, went about their business with near-impunity. Black abolitionists, by contrast, always put life and liberty on the line.”

The New Yorker, A Critic At Large, August 22, 2016 Issue, THE PERILOUS LURE OF THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD: Hardly anyone used it, but it provides us with moral comfort—and white heroes by Kathryn Schulz:


Schomburg NYPL Digital Collection.

For more on the most-traveled runaway routes and on black abolitionists:
Matthew J. Clavin. Aiming for Pensacola: Fugitive Slaves on the Atlantic and Southern Frontiers
Jesus F. De la Tera, ed. Lone Star Unionism, Dissent, and Resistance
Sylviane A. Diouf. Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons
John Hope Franklin & Loren Schweninger. Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation
Jane Landers. Black Society in Spanish Florida
Tiya Miles & Sharon P. Holland, eds. Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds
Kevin Mulroy. The Seminole Freedmen: A History
Manisha Sinha. The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition
Christina Snyder. Slavery in Indian Country: The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America
The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century enslaved people of African descent in the United States in efforts to escape to free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists and allies who were sympathetic to their cause. The term is also applied to the abolitionists, both Black and White, free and enslaved, who aided the fugitives. Various other routes led to Mexico or overseas. An earlier escape route running south toward Florida, then a Spanish possession, existed from the late 17th century until shortly after the American Revolution. However, the network now generally known as the Underground Railroad was formed in the early 19th century, and reached its height between 1850 and 1860. One estimate suggests that by 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the “Railroad”. Map: Routes of the Underground Railroad 1880-1865.


Lisa Pacino and Under The Duvet Productions are based in New York. Photography services are available worldwide. If you wish to book photography services, receive information, and/or license images for commercial and/or promotional use please E-mail: UnderTheDuvetProductions@gmail.com

Please visit our gallery of over 190 photo-articles:





Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: