Today we celebrate, opera singer, Leontyne Price.
Price is widely recognized as being one of the first African American opera singers to earn international acclaim.
She was born on this day in 1927 to James and Kate Price in Laurel, Mississippi. Her parents encouraged her singing and enrolled her in formal music training at five years old.
After years of focused training, she was offered a full singing scholarship by Julliard and moved to New York to attend college.
Upon graduation, she made her Broadway debut as St. Cecilia in the revival of Thompsen’s Four Saints in Three Acts. She went on to portray Bess in Porgy and Bess, dazzling audiences for two years with her voice.
In 1955, Price became to first African American to appear in a telecast opera with her appearance in the NBC Opera Theatre’s television production of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca.
Through the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s Price sang with a number of Opera Houses traveling the world entrancing listeners with her angelic voice.
Listen to a few performances from her below: