Janinah Burnett can do it all. She’s performed for Oprah and recently sang a lead role in Spike Lee’s “Red Hook Summer.” She describes her self as a flower-child. We describe her singing as incredible. This weekend, the Spelman trained opera singer plays Leila in Opera Carolina’s production of “The Pearl Fishers.” Burnett has been in Charlotte for several weeks practicing for the production and introducing herself to Charlotte’s African American community. She performed recently at the Delta Cotillion, and for a reception Dr. Ron Carter’s Smith House.
On Saturday, she plays Leila in George Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers,” which performs April 13, 18 and 21 at Belk Theater This opera focuses on the love triangle unfolding in a tropical pearl-fishing village in Ancient Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka). The Metropolitan Opera soprano Burnett stars as the mysterious veiled priestess Leila. In the video below, Burnett talks about her role and spending time in Charlotte.