Marian Anderson

1327 WordsMay 2, 20136 Pages
Marian Anderson is remembered as one of the best American contraltos of all time. She was the first African American singer to perform at the White House and also the first African American to sing with New York's Metropolitan Opera. Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia on Feb. 17, 1902. She never had much money, but she was happy. All of them, her mother, dad, and younger sisters Alyce and Ethel just liked to be together. One thing that may have been different from other childhood is that she loved to sing. She sang in the children's choir at Union Baptist Church. When she turned thirteen, she joined the adult choir too. In high school, she sang in the chorus as well and was educated in the public schools.. Local supporters provided…show more content…
She later learned that it was Mrs. Roosevelt who made the arrangements for me to sing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Her concert there, on Easter morning, drew a live audience of 75,000, and millions more heard it over the radio. In 1942 she established the Marian Anderson Award for talented young singers; among the recipients were Camilla Williams, Mattiwilda Dobbs, and Grace Bumbry. Anderson married Orpheus H. Fisher, a New York architect, in 1943. In 1948 Anderson underwent a dangerous operation for the removal from her esophagus of a cyst that threatened to damage her voice. For two months she was not permitted to use her voice and was unsure if she would ever be able to sing again. When she was finally allowed to rehearse, her voice returned free of impairment. Following her recovery, Anderson made her first post-World War II tour of Europe, including stops in Scandinavia, Paris, London, Antwerp, Zurich, and Geneva. On Jan. 7, 1955, Anderson sang Ulrica in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera (The Masked Ball) at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, and she returned the following season in the same role. This was the first time an African American person had sung with the Metropolitan since it opened in 1883. Over the years, Anderson continued to add to her accomplishments. She sang at the presidential inaugurations of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy. In 1957, as an emissary of the State Department, Anderson made a concert tour of
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