Black First of the Day

Black Firsts 3e
ISBN: 9781578593699

Which black first sang a principal role with the Metropolitan Opera?

  • She had appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1952.
  • In 1939, she became the first black American to sing before a reigning British monarch at the White House.
  • On January 7, 2005 she was commemorated on a postage Stamp.
  • She made her debut as Ulrica in Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera.


Marian Anderson (1897-1993)

In 1955 Marian Anderson (1897-1993), one of the twentieth century's most celebrated singers, was the first black to sing a principal role with the Metropolitan Opera. She made her debut as Ulrica in Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera on January 7 and remained with the opera for seven performances. In October 1930 Anderson received critical acclaim for her concert at the Bach Saal in Berlin and from there embarked on an extensive tour of Europe. She made national news in 1939 when the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to allow her to appear at their Constitution Hall. Anderson continued to tour until her farewell trip in the 1964-65 season.

Sources: Hine, Black Women in America, pp. 29-33; Current Biography Yearbook, 1940, pp. 17-19; 1950, pp. 8-10; Smith, Notable Black American Women, pp. 14-20; Story, And So I Sing, pp. 37-58.

From Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Events by Jessie Carney Smith, © 2013 Visible Ink Press®. A celebration of achievement, accomplishments and pride.

< Previous Fact Next Fact >

Dig deeper with these related titles:

Black Firsts 3e Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Events, Third Edition
by Jessie Carney Smith, Ph.D.

Achievement engenders pride, and the most significant accomplishments involving people, places, and events in black history are gathered in Black... Read More »

ISBN: 9781578593699
African American Almanac African American Almanac: 400 Years of Triumph, Courage and Excellence
by Lean'tin Bracks, PhD

A wealth of milestones, inspiration, and challenges met. . . The most complete and affordable single-volume reference of African... Read More »

ISBN: 9781578593231
Freedom Facts and Firsts Freedom Facts and Firsts: 400 Years of the African American Civil Rights Experience
by Jessie Carney Smith, Ph.D. and Linda T Wynn

Spanning nearly 400 years from the early abolitionists to the present, this guide book profiles more than 400 people, places, and events that have... Read More »

ISBN: 9781578591923
Black Heroes Black Heroes
by Jessie Carney Smith, Ph.D.

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress," wrote Frederick Douglass. "This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may... Read More »

ISBN: 9781578591367