Of the six main Chinese roles in Scottish Opera’s Nixon in China, five were played by white actors, including Nicholas Lester as Zhou Enlai (centre). Photo: YouTube/Scottish Opera Of the six main Chinese roles in Scottish Opera’s Nixon in China, five were played by white actors, including Nicholas Lester as Zhou Enlai (centre). Photo: YouTube/Scottish Opera
Of the six main Chinese roles in Scottish Opera’s Nixon in China, five were played by white actors, including Nicholas Lester as Zhou Enlai (centre). Photo: YouTube/Scottish Opera

White singers in make-up playing Chinese characters draw Scottish Opera into ‘yellowface’ controversy

  • ‘Like blackface, yellowface is a degrading form of cultural appropriation,’ says Asian performers campaign group of UK opera company’s Nixon in China production
  • Of six Chinese roles, four were filled by white singers. Amid the row over their use, the production’s nomination for an arts award was withdrawn

Topic |   Racism and prejudice
Of the six main Chinese roles in Scottish Opera’s Nixon in China, five were played by white actors, including Nicholas Lester as Zhou Enlai (centre). Photo: YouTube/Scottish Opera Of the six main Chinese roles in Scottish Opera’s Nixon in China, five were played by white actors, including Nicholas Lester as Zhou Enlai (centre). Photo: YouTube/Scottish Opera
Of the six main Chinese roles in Scottish Opera’s Nixon in China, five were played by white actors, including Nicholas Lester as Zhou Enlai (centre). Photo: YouTube/Scottish Opera

Corrected [6:51pm, 17 Jun, 2021]

  • [6:51pm, 17 Jun, 2021]

    Only one of the six Chinese roles in Nixon in China is a main role. Julian Chou-Lambert was misquoted as saying opera companies in mainland Europe have a much better record in terms of casting.

  • We are part of the Trust Project What is it?
READ FULL ARTICLE