Let’s take a survey. Do any of my readers like opera? Do you sing opera? It’s a peculiar type of music if you ask me. I just wanted to point out one wonderfully talented music star.Grace Bumbry is one of the leading opera voice of her time. She has studied in Boston, Chicago, Santa Barbara ,California. She made her opera debut at 23 years of age. She performed around the world and has learned the great mezzo-soprano and soprano roles in the classical opera repertoire. Grace Melzia ANn Bumbry was born on January 4, 1937 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was the youngest child of James Bumbry, a freight worker, and Melzia Bumbry, a homemaker. She mader her concert debut in London of 1959 and her opera debut at the Paris Opera in 1960. For her first Paris appearance, she sang the mezzo soprano part of Amneris in Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida. Bumbry performed with the Basel Opera from the years of 1960 to 1962. In 1961, she was known as the first black woman to sing the role of Venus in Richard Wagner’s Tannhauser at the Wagner Bayreuth festival. In November 1962, she appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
She played Wagner’s Venus again for her United States operatic debut at the Chicago Lyric Opera in 1963 and sung at London’s Royal Opera, the Vienna State Opera in Salzburg, Milan’s La Scala, andNew York’s Metropolitan Opera. Through the 60s, Bumbry performed as a mezzo-soprano, learning the additional roles in classical operas like George Bizet’s Carmen and Verdi’s Don Carlo.
She performed as a soprano in the 1970s, adding the lead female roles in RIchard Strauss’s Salome, Verdi’s Macbeth, Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, and George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, with many others on her list of repetoires. Bumbry sang professionally in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1982, she was featured in a tribute to the legendary Marian Anderson at Carnegie Hall.
In 1990, she played Cassanda in Les Troyens, where they opened for the Opera Bastille. In 1995, she took on a lead role in Luigi Cherubini’s Medee. She gave her last opera performance as Clytemnestra in Strauss Elektra in Lyon France in the year of 1997,
So there. Bumbry’s done alot in her career. She has taken on some fabulous and fantastic roles. Big ups to her. The point is, she did not sit on her talent. She explored the world and it gaveher the most powerful opportunities.