Charlotte Holloman, an African American soprano whose operatic and concert career sprouted in the 1950s and who later became a voice teacher in her native Washington, died July 30 at a nursing home in the District. She was 93.
The cause was breast cancer, said Donna Potts, a family friend.
Although she did not have a major career like Leontyne Price, Shirley Verrett and Betty Allen, Mrs. Holloman belonged to a wave of black singers who began to appear on prominent stages in the years after World War II.
She made her Broadway debut in 1950 in a short-lived musical drama about racial conflict, “The Barrier,” based on a Langston Hughes play, and then appeared in “My Darlin’ Aida” (1952), a version of the Giuseppe Verdi opera reimagined on a Southern plantation amid the Civil War.
Her 1954 recital at New York’s Town Hall concert hall, which included works by Vivaldi, Mozart and Strauss, drew a strong review from New York Times opera critic John G. Briggs Jr., who praised her for “a vocal range and a facility nothing short of phenomenal. She executed staggeringly difficult arias as casually as if they were Marchesi vocalises.” But he added that her vocal “acrobatics” lacked “interpretative subtlety.”
Mrs. Holloman had further recitals in New York and was a featured soloist with symphony orchestras before winning a Rockefeller grant in 1961 that enabled her to study in London and Berlin. She sang with opera companies in Essen and Saarbrucken, Germany, before returning to the United States to embark on a teaching career.