PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – He’s getting national attention for his impromptu singing of the national anthem with a Portland State University student, and now, he’s raising money for a documentary focusing on his journey as one of the only African-American opera singers in the Pacific Northwest.
Emmanuel Henreid is heavily involved in the arts as a singer and musician, but due to COVID-19, his singing events with the Portland Opera and other companies were all canceled. But he says he knew he couldn’t just stop using his voice.
Henreid, who grew up the Portland area, decided to start his singing career in the streets to keep practicing, he says even singing at Black Lives Matter protests.
Henreid’s film, called “Livin’ In the Light”, documents Henreid’s experience singing in Portland during the coronavirus quarantine while being one of the only African-American male opera singers in the Pacific Northwest practicing modern-crossover genres.
Henreid says growing up in Portland, he’s had to have different approaches with how he interacts with different racial groups.
“Sometimes, you have to put on your certain face for the predominantly white community,” Henreid said. “And then you have to put on another vernacular and face for the Black community and you have to learn how to create a dualism in both worlds. And so I think that dualism kind of is an experience for most African-Americans that are in Portland.”
Henreid says he’s noticing the dualism he describes is diminishing as he notices more people coming together. He says music can bridge that gap, like when he sang the national anthem impromptu with a Portland State University student.
“We had these two voices, myself and hers, I didn't necessarily see her as a white woman or even identify me as a Black male,” Henreid said. I put all of that aside to simply utilize the voices together. And I think that America really has to come together and learn how to play together, most of all, we just need to learn how to play life together.”
Henreid says he’s shooting to have that documentary finished in about six months. His EP will be released soon. Here is a link to his GoFundMe.
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