From an interview in U.S. 1 with Denyce Graves, who was to sing the lead in George Bizet’s “Carmen” with Opera New Jersey:

Did it matter at the beginning of her career that Graves is black, does it matter now? “It always matters in life that I am black,” she says. “It matters every second. It matters as much as it did 20 years ago. Now when I walk into a room, a lot of people know who I am. But some presenters lack imagination and lack courage. A lot of directors say that they don’t see me in certain roles because of my color. I suppose someone could say the same thing about being too tall or too fat. Still, I would like to think that the work we do transcends all that.”