Sunday, January 27, 2013

Leontyne Price

“The way I was taught, being black was a plus, always. Being a human being, being in America, and being black, all three were the greatest things that could happen to you. The combination was unbeatable.” —Leontyne Price

Price in Porgy and Bess, 1953.
On this day in 1961, soprano LEONTYNE PRICE (b. February 10, 1927) debuted at the Met, becoming the first African American to open a season at the Metropolitan Opera. “It was the first operatic mountain I climbed, and the view from it was astounding, exhilarating, stupefying,” she reported. Price received a 42-minute ovation—one of the longest in Met history. She was also the first African American opera singer on television and the first African American prima donna. Her extraordinary talent has won her worldwide acclaim and a slew of honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recorded Arts and Sciences.

Get you mind blown with “Pace, pace mio Dio” from La Forza del Destino:

Follow the link for Caro nome and listen for that last high note: it will blow your mind and possibly shatter your windows.

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