“When I Rise” explores the life of mezzo-soprano Barbara Smith Conrad. The documentary chronicles the controversy that ensued when Ms. Conrad was cast in the female lead role in a 1957 opera production at the University of Texas, Austin. The film, which airs tonight as part the Independent Lens series on PBS, also documents Ms. Conrad’s life and career following her graduation in 1959. (Check your local listings for time.)
In the clip below Ms. Conrad describes the film as being “very healing” for her. I look forward to watching the documentary tonight, for it promises to be insightful, inspiring and enlightening.
The Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas, Austin provides background information on Ms. Conrad and the film project. The Independent Lens blog includes an interview with director Mat Hames and executive producer Don Carleton. And, Felicia R. Lee interviewed Ms. Conrad for the New York Times.