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Soprano Camilla Williams (October 18, 1919 - January 29, 2012) was the 1st black singer to receive a regular contract w/a major American opera company after signing w/NYCO (1946). She was also the 1st singer to record Bess for a nearly-complete PORGY AND BESS (1951) & sang The Star-Spangled Banner preceding Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous speech (1963). Williams received the National Opera Assoc.'s first "Lift Every Voice" Legacy Award honoring the contributions of African Americans to…

Soprano Camilla Williams (October 18, 1919 - January 29, 2012) was the 1st black singer to receive a regular contract w/a major American opera company after signing w/NYCO (1946). She was also the 1st singer to record Bess for a nearly-complete PORGY AND BESS (1951) & sang The Star-Spangled Banner preceding Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous speech (1963). Williams received the National Opera Assoc.'s first "Lift Every Voice" Legacy Award honoring the contributions of African Americans to…

50th anniversary of P

Biography on soprano Anne Wiggins Brown

Il Trovatore by Verdi

Il Trovatore by Verdi

Mezzo Florence Quivar (born 1944) made her recital debut in Philadelphia, won the Baltimore Lyric Opera Competition & a Marion Anderson Award, & sang Serena in the Cleveland Orchestra's Grammy-winning recording of PORGY AND BESS in 1976. She made her operatic debut at Tanglewood in the premiere of Sessions' WHEN LILACS LAST IN THE DOORYARD BLOOM'D & debuted at the Met in 1977, where she performed 101 times. Quivar also premiered the role of The Goddess in the Waters in Davis' AMISTAD (1999).

Mezzo Florence Quivar (born 1944) made her recital debut in Philadelphia, won the Baltimore Lyric Opera Competition & a Marion Anderson Award, & sang Serena in the Cleveland Orchestra's Grammy-winning recording of PORGY AND BESS in 1976. She made her operatic debut at Tanglewood in the premiere of Sessions' WHEN LILACS LAST IN THE DOORYARD BLOOM'D & debuted at the Met in 1977, where she performed 101 times. Quivar also premiered the role of The Goddess in the Waters in Davis' AMISTAD (1999).

Mezzo-soprano Inez Matthews (born 1917) created the roles of St. Settlement in the Broadway premiere of FOUR SAINTS IN THREE ACTS (1934) - acting alongside her brother, baritone Edward Matthews - and Irina in the Broadway premiere of Weill's LOST IN THE STARS (1949). Matthews was also the singing voice of Serena for the 1959 film and recording of PORGY AND BESS (portrayed on-screen by Ruth Attaway).

Mezzo-soprano Inez Matthews (born 1917) created the roles of St. Settlement in the Broadway premiere of FOUR SAINTS IN THREE ACTS (1934) - acting alongside her brother, baritone Edward Matthews - and Irina in the Broadway premiere of Weill's LOST IN THE STARS (1949). Matthews was also the singing voice of Serena for the 1959 film and recording of PORGY AND BESS (portrayed on-screen by Ruth Attaway).

an author on my tbr list: Octavia Butler --- (June 22, 1947 – February 24, 2006) was an American science fiction writer. A recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, Butler was one of the best-known African-American women in the field. In 1995, she bec

Five Women Writers Tougher Than Hemingway

Octavia Butler (June 1947 - February was an American science fiction writer. A recipient of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, Butler was one of the best-known African-American women in the field of science fiction writers.

When Camilla Williams made her debut at New York City Opera in 1946, she became the first African-American to sign a contract with a major opera house.John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archives/Getty

When Camilla Williams made her debut at New York City Opera in she became the first African-American to sign a contract with a major opera house.

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musical theater and opera star Muriel Smith. she made her broadway debut in the title role of "carmen jones" in 1943 and in the lead role of the opera "carmen" in london, 1956

"The flowers absorb the sunshine because it is their nature. I give out melody because God filled my soul with it." —Sissieretta Jones

Sissieretta Jones was condescendingly nicknamed "the Black Patti" by a newspaper…

Maestro Calvin E. Simmons (April 27, 1950 - August 21, 1982) guest conducted at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera and Glyndebourne, and led the Oakland Symphony Orchestra from 1978 until his untimely and tragic death in 1982, when he was only 32 years old. Simmons is memorialized by the Calvin Simmons Middle School and Calvin Simmons Theatre in Oakland, California.

Maestro Calvin E. Simmons (April 27, 1950 - August 21, 1982) guest conducted at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera and Glyndebourne, and led the Oakland Symphony Orchestra from 1978 until his untimely and tragic death in 1982, when he was only 32 years old. Simmons is memorialized by the Calvin Simmons Middle School and Calvin Simmons Theatre in Oakland, California.

On February 15th, 1968, Henry Lewis was the first African American to lead a symphony orchestra in the United States.   ‪#‎knowyourhistory‬ ‪#‎BlackHistory‬ ‪#‎MYBB‬

Feb 1968 Henry Lewis became the first African-America to lead a symphony orchestra in the United States. Lewis led the New Jersey Symphony for 8 years, and would guest conduct for the ensemble another 20 years after his retirement in

Simon Estes (1938) is an operatic bass-baritone of African-American descent who had a major international opera career beginning in the 1960s. He has sung at most of the world's major opera houses as well as in front of presidents and other international figures. He was part of the first generation of black opera singers to achieve widespread success and is viewed as part of a group of performers who were instrumental in helping to break down the barriers of racial prejudice in the opera…

Simon Estes is an operatic bass-baritone of African-American descent who…

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