On January 7th 1955 contralto Marian Anderson broke the color barrier at the Metropolitan Opera House by being the first African-American to sing there. MET General Director Rudolf Bing invited Anderson to make her debut as Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in Maschera opposite Zinka Milanov, Jan Peerce, Robert Merrill & Roberta Peters. Anderson would celebrate her 58th Birthday just a few weeks later on February 27th.
The magnitude of her musical gifts was noted when conductor Arturo Toscanini said “Anderson had a voice that came along once in a hundred years.” Marian Anderson’s MET debut was earth-shattering because it now paved the way for other great African-American artists to follow: Leontyne Price, Robert McFerrin, Grace Bumbry, Shirley Verrett, George Shirley and a host of others.
Listen to Marian Anderson as Ulrica in January 1955 from the stage at the MET.
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Mary, Auburn Hills – MOT REACHED ANOTHER MILESTONE IN ITS EXTRAORDINARY HISTORY WITH THIS CAVALLARIA RUSTICANA AT THE MEADOWBROOK PAVILION. A too long absent fan base emerged resilient and in full to celebrate with the BATHS OF CARACALLA voices in a matchless display of musical artistry…
We thought we’d look back 15 months to our last staged in-door opera in March of 2020, a double-bill of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Buoso’s Ghost by American composer Michael Ching.
April is National Letter Writing Month. Though Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and email are the popular ways to communicate today, opera often goes “Old School” with the ancient relic of the Handwritten Letter.