Saturday, February 04, 2012
The lyric soprano Camilla Williams died earlier this week at 92. On May 15, 1946, she became the first African American woman to sing with a major opera company in the United States. The role was Cio-Cio-San, the company was New York City Opera. For reasons described in the Times obit I link to, she has remained in the shadow of the more famous Marion Anderson, but the two singers knew and deeply respected each other. You can hear Camilla Williams on YouTube.