Someone We Actually Like: “Porgy And Bess” Broadway And Opera Star Alicia Hall Moran

- By Bossip Staff

We love spreading the word about talented black folks! And it’s even better when the said talent is an exceptional actress and musician with great pipes and an equally fabulous husband. Such is the case with Alicia Hall Moran.

Here’s a little info via

IIf you’d asked Alicia Hall Moran how she was feeling a year ago, fresh off the heels of a Broadway run, the Harlem-based opera singer would sigh and say it was like finally getting “off the treadmill.” It’s an understatement, considering she wasn’t just in the ensemble of Broadway’s Porgy & Bess; she was also the understudy for Audra McDonald’s Bess and, for a few months, performed the role each Wednesday. Juggling eight shows a week, rehearsals for two parts, five-year-old twins, a weeklong commission she was asked to do for the Whitney Museum Biennial and, you know, sleep, left her feeling depleted — and energized at the same time.

And it also explains why she has signed back on, heading out in November to star as Bess in the national tour. “Doing theater every day is like pushing a rock up a mountain. There’s the exertion of always moving it forward and also going out there, raw and wondering, ‘How is this going to end?’” she told us last year. And how does she feel now that the tour is about to kick off? “It feels glorious, effortless. Look, this show has already won its Tony – the heavy lifting has been done. Now I get the chance to relive this music every night and, as a singer, that’s the thing, just singing this incredible music every night.” Anyone who’s listened to the groundbreaking Gershwin score, with all its soaring passion and searing heartbreak, would have to agree.

Nailing hard-to-execute routines has been the norm for Hall Moran throughout her career. When she’s not singing from the Porgy & Bess book, she is applying her voice to genres stretching far and wide. “I’ve departed from the classical mold, which is that you’re assigned music, you learn it and you perform it,” explains the mezzo-soprano. “I’m co-creating the music now, which is highly improvisatory.” That means that there are going to be more creations like the Motown Project (that’s not Motown the Musical, by the way), where she recreated the world of Mozart and translated it for a contemporary audience through Motown lyrics. Or new collaborations with her husband, Jason Moran, a jazz pianist and the Kennedy Center artistic director of jazz. Or works with others, like a late September performance at Jazz at Lincoln Center called “Gershwin & Beyond” featuring guitarist Bill Frisell.

Clap for Mami… She’s dope.

Check out a performance from her below:

Pretty amazing right?


More Stories From Bossip


blog comments powered by Disqus