Singer Barbara Hendricks on sheltering in place: 'This is how refugees feel all the time'

THE INTERVIEW © France 24 screengrab

Barbara Hendricks has used her voice mainly for two things: in the pursuit of a superlative musical career and as a staunch defender of human rights.


As a lifetime ambassador for the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees, Hendricks is staging a concert from Stockholm’s Vasateatern to help this vulnerable sector of society, many of whom have found themselves in even more precarious circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Taking inspiration from the words of civil rights leader Martin Luther King and the many anonymous women and men who brought about change and social justice, the performance is entitled, “Road to Freedom”.

As one of the rare lyrical artists to have graced the stages of the Paris Opéra, the Met in New York and La Scala in Milan, Barbara Hendricks has also headlined at the Montreux Jazz Festival and lent her talents to the world of musical theatre. She tells us about being fluent in the “two languages” of jazz and classical music, and why art – be it socially distanced or in person – has the power to touch people wherever they are in the world.

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