Grace Bumbry (born January 4, 1937), an American opera singer, is considered one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation, as well as a major soprano for many years. She was a member of a pioneering generation of singers who followed Marian Anderson (including Leontyne Price, Martina Arroyo, Shirley Verrett and Reri Grist) in the world of classical music and paved the way for future African American opera and classical singers.
Grace Bumbry, an opera singer from St. Louis, is considered one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation. She debuted in London in 1959, and with the Paris Opera the following year. In 1961, she was featured in Bayreuth, Germany’s Wagner Festival. The first African American to sing there, Bumbry was an international sensation and won the Wagner Medal. She is credited for paving the way for future African American opera and classical singers. Missouri History Museum
Mattiwilda Dobbs (b. 1925) is an American opera singer, one of the first African Americans to achieve international acclaim in the art form. After winning an international competition in Geneva, Switzerland, the Spelman graduate launched a career that took her across Europe. In 1953, she became the first African American women to sing at the famed La Scala opera house in Milan, Italy.