Tuesday, March 22, 2011

John Malveaux: 'America's First Black Opera Was Organized as the Colored American Opera Company' in 1873

[Denyce Graves stars in Margaret Garner, inspired by the real-life story of a fugitive slave who was willing to kill for her freedom. (Photo: Jim Schmid/Opera Carolina 2007)]

John Malveaux of MusicUNTOLD sends this story:
“America's first black opera was organized as the Colored American Opera Company at Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church, a 150-year-old black Catholic congregation. The church choir founded the opera company in 1873, just a decade after the Emancipation Proclamation, to raise needed funds. The historical effort surprised opera lovers and raised thousands of dollars. See detailed story at
and history of Saint Augustine Roman Catholic Church at

“The title role of Margaret Garner Opera was created for Mezzo Soprano Denyce Graves who will perform in recital at JUNETEENTH WorldWide Concert, June 19th, Terrace Theater, Long Beach, Ca. For information about Margaret Garner Opera see http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10986783.”

John Malveaux

1 comment:

msladyDeborah said...

I love reading this blog. I learn something new and interesting daily.