Sensational African-Americansoprano, starred at Zurich 1963-65 and at the Met 1965-78, 1st black singer to portray Elsa in Wagner’s “Lohengrin” (1968)
Autograph ID: 6689
Condition: Very good
Description: “(b. 1936) American operatic soprano with a major international career 1960s-80s, part of the 1st generation of black opera singers to achieve wide success, and helped break down barriers of racial prejudice in the opera world. First rose to prominence at the Zurich Opera 1963-65, debuting there in the title role of Aida, which became her signature role. She was received enthusiastically and in 1965 she sang at the Met as a last-minute substitute for an ill Birgit Nilsson. Met director Rudolf Bing immediately offered her a contract which extended for several years, becoming one of the Met’s leading sopranos 1965-78. She was notably the 1st black singer to portray Elsa in Wagner’s “Lohengrin” in 1968, not just at the Met, but in all of opera history. During her years at the Metropolitan, she was also a regular presence at La Scala, Covent Garden, Opera Nationale de Paris, Teatro Colon, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the San Francisco Opera, among others. She is best known for her performances of the Italian spinto repertoire, particularly Verdi and Puccini heroines. Her last opera performance was in 1991, after which she has devoted her time to teaching singing in the US and Europe. She received a 2013 Kennedy Center Honor.
Autograph sentiment (“Best wishes”) signed on a 4 x 5 1/2 violet-colored autograph album page, in-person signature”
Type: Autograph album page