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Born in Hickson near Woodstock, Ontario, Bothwell studied at the Canadian Academy of Music in Toronto where she was a voice student of Otto Morando and a piano student of Peter C. Kennedy. From 1920-1929 she performed as a contralto in opera and oratorio performances in Toronto andBuffalo, New York. In 1937 she went to Austria to study singing at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg. The following year she moved to New York City where she was a pupil of Paul Althouse. She made her recital debut in that city at Town Hall on November 1, 1938 and continued to appear there until the early 1960s.
In 1947 she made her first European tour which included performances in Germany, Holland, and England. That same year she was much admired at the Scheveningen Festival for her portrayal of the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. She was also celebrated for her portrayal of Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, a role she notably performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under conductor Adrian Boult in 1948. She performed on radio in New York,Paris, London, and Basel. Among her recordings for Royale are An Hour of Lieder:
- Hugo Wolf Sung by Mary Bothwell (1310)
- An Hour of Concert Songs (1318)
- Bless This House (1538)
- Richard Strauss Album (4069)
Bothwell was elected president of the Canadian Women’s Club of New York City at the annual meeting in the Savoy Hilton on May 12, 1958. During her term as president of the Canadian Women’s Club of New York she encouraged the careers of young Canadian performers.
Bothwell became known also for her paintings of flowers. “Wild Flowers of Switzerland”, 36 botanical studies in oil by Mary Bothwell was exhibited for the first time at the Horticultural Society of New York on April 18, 1971.
- Encyclopedia of Music in Canada
- MARY BOTHWELL GIVES ANNUAL SONG RECITAL – New York Times, February 16, 1953. Page 18
- Canadian Women Plan To Aid Blind Children – New York Times, December 10, 1961, Sunday.Page 100.
- What’s New in Art. In the Galleries: MARY BOTHWELL-The Horticultural Society of New York. New York Times, March 25, 1973, Sunday. Section: AL, Page 162.
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She is best known for her performances in the Gilbert and Sullivan operas with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. After playing other small mezzo-soprano parts, she played the role of Mrs. Partlett in The Sorcerer for many years. She also occasionally played some of the larger contralto roles. She later became stage director of the company from 1947 to 1949 and also directed the J. C. Williamson Gilbert and Sullivan Company.
Bethell was married to fellow D’Oyly Carte member Sydney Granville.
Bethell was born in Lancashire, England.
Bethell was engaged by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1909, singing in the chorus and playing the smaller mezzo-soprano roles of Kate in The Pirates of Penzance, Lady Saphir inPatience, Leila in Iolanthe and Chloe in Princess Ida. She soon also took on the role of Vittoria in The Gondoliers. She left the company in 1912 but returned the next year, touring in the same roles and also as Peep-Bo in The Mikado. From 1915, Bethell sang in the chorus, again playing Saphir from 1917. She began to understudy the principal contralto roles, then played by Bertha Lewis, in 1918. At this time, she began to play Mrs. Partlett in The Sorcerer and Inez in The Gondoliers. Between 1918 and 1924, she also toured, from time to time, in two plays by Stanley Houghton, Hindle Wakes (as Fanny Hawthorn) and The Younger Generation.
In 1921, Bethell resumed the small part of Chloe, with D’Oyly Carte, and the next year also began again to play Kate. In 1923, she sometimes played the role of Cousin Hebe in H.M.S. Pinafore, Melissa in Princess Ida, Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, and Tessa in The Gondoliers. After this, until 1925, she played the parts of Mrs. Partlett, Chloe and Inez. At the end of 1925, Bethel and her husband, Sydney Granville, and other company members left the D’Oyly Carte to travel to Australia, performing in Gilbert and Sullivan roles with the J. C. Williamson Ltd. company. In 1929, she rejoined D’Oyly Carte as Mrs. Partlett, playing the role until 1939. In 1931, she also occasionally played Little Buttercup in Pinafore and Dame Hannah in Ruddigore. Bethell is heard as Mrs. Partlett on the D’Oyly Carte’s 1933 recording of excerpts from The Sorcerer.
Bethell was engaged by the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company as Stage Director from 1947 to 1948. In his 1952 memoir, the former principal comedian of the company, Martyn Green, wrote: “During Anna Bethell’s regime … there had been growing signs of discontent and suggestions of favouritism being shown to some of the members of the chorus in respect to passing over existing understudies, selections for small parts, and so on. In 1949, she travelled to Australia to direct J. C. Williamson Ltd. productions of Gilbert and Sullivan. That company then toured these productions throughout Australasia for the next three years.
She died in 1969 in Bournemouth.
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During her relatively short touring career, she performed with distinguished collaborators not only in concert on the US West Coast but also in Concert Magic, a 1947 film billed as “the first motion picture concert.”
Beal was born in Riverside, California. Touring the United States as a concert contralto in the 1940s, she appeared with orchestras including the Phoenix Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. With the latter ensemble, she performed in two works by Gustav Mahler: his Eighth Symphony, under Eugene Ormandy at the Hollywood Bowl, and Kindertotenlieder. Beal’s operatic appearances included impersonations of Erda in Wagner‘s Siegfried and the innkeeper in Boris Godunov with the San Francisco Opera during the 1948 season. She also sang at Radio City Music Hall and the Tanglewood Festival with the Boston Pops.
Beal’s present fame rests on her participation in Concert Magic, an unscripted film presenting, as the title would suggest, a classical concert. Beal was the sole vocalist; instrumentalists included pianists Adolph Baller, Jakob Gimpel, and Marguerite Campbell; violinist Yehudi Menuhin; and an orchestra billed as “Symphony Orchestra of Hollywood” under the baton of Antal Dorati. Interspersed with purely instrumental selections, Beal performed the Bach-Gounod “Ave Maria”; Franz Schubert‘s “Erlkönig” and “Ave Maria“; Tchaikovsky’s ”None but the lonely heart“; and “Lord, Have Mercy on Me” from the St. Matthew Passion of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Beal married well known-aerial photographer William Garnett in 1941 and remained his wife until his death in 2006, bearing him three sons. After but a decade on the concert circuit, she opted to abandon her full-time performing career to devoting her time to her family. Nonetheless, she remained sporadically active in northern California, where she and Garnett made their home; besides providing music at local funerals and churches, she performed with the San Francisco Symphony, the Santa Rosa Symphony, the Napa Symphony, and a local Napa, California choral group. She died in Napa in 2008.
- ^ a b Lemco, Gary, review of Concert Magic, EuroArts DVD 2054158, on Audiophile Audition Internet site, accessed October 12, 2009
- ^ Nilsen, Richard, “Symphony Marks 60 Years of Musicmaking,” The Arizona Republic, September 2, 2007, accessed October 12, 2009
- ^ Dettmer, Roger, review of “The Art of Eugene Ormandy,” Biddulph WHL 064/5, on Classical CD Review Internet site, accessed October 12, 2009
- ^ LA Phil Presents | Piece Detail – Gustav Mahler: Kindertotenlieder
- ^ a b “Garnett, Eula Beal,” obituary published in The San Francisco Chronicle, August 3, 2008, accessed October 12, 2009
- Eula Beal on imdb
- Eula Beal sings None but the lonely heart by Tchaikovsky on YouTube
- Eula Beal sings Bach aria with Yehudi Menuhin on YouTube
- Eula Beal sings Ave Maria on YouTube
- Soundtracks for Concert Magic (1948)
IRINA KONSTANTINOVNA ARKHIPOVA (2 January 1925 – 11 February 2010) was a Russian mezzo-soprano, and later contralto, opera singer.
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Irina Arkhipova in 1966
Irina was born in Moscow. Before switching to voice, she studied architecture at the Moscow Architectural Institute, graduating in 1948. She then studied at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1954 she debuted in Sverdlovsk, and was made a member of the Bolshoi Theatre in 1956. She became a member of the CPSU in 1963 and was named a People’s Artist of the USSR in 1966.
Arkhipova was at the height of her career in the 1960s and 1970s, during which time she was an international star, interpreting both Russian and Italian repertoire. Her technique was irreproachable, and she had great expressive power. She has been compared with Christa Ludwig. One of her most celebrated roles is as Marfa in Khovanshchina by Modest Mussorgsky, as recorded with Boris Khaikin in 1972. At the age of 72, Arkhipova finally made a belated Met debut in March 1997 as Filippyevna in Eugene Onegin.
She died in Moscow on 11 February 2010, aged 85.
- Giuseppe Verdi
- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
- Pietro Mascagni
- Cavalleria rusticana (Santuzza)
Honours and awards
- Hero of Socialist Labour (Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of 29 December 1984)
- Order of St. Andrew (2 January 2005) – for outstanding contributions to the development of domestic and world music, many years of creative and social activities
- Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 2nd class (30 December 30, 1999) – for outstanding achievements in the field of culture and great contributions to the development of a national songwriting 
- Three Orders of Lenin (1971, May 25, 1976)
- Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1971)
- Pushkin Medal (4 June 1999) – to mark the 200th anniversary of Pushkin for services in the field of culture, education, literature and art
- Medal “In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin” (1970)
- Diploma of the President of the Russian Federation (January 2, 2010) – for great contribution to music education 
- Order of Saint Olga, 2nd class (Russian Orthodox Church, 2000)
- Order of the Republic (Moldova) (2000)
- Cross of Saint Michael of Tver (2000)
- Badge of Honour “For mercy and charity” (2000)
- Badge of Honour “For services to Polish culture”
- Honour of St. Luke – culture of the Yaroslavl region.
- Lenin Prize (1978) – for her performance as Azucena and Lyubava in operas “Il Trovatore” Verdi “Sadko” by Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as concerts in recent years
- State Prize of the Russian Federation (1996)
- Russian opera prize “Casta diva” (1999)
- Prize in Moscow (2000)
- Prizes and medals Rachmaninov
- World of Art Award (established by the corporation “Marisha Art Management International”) – “Diamond Lira” and the title “Goddess of Art” (1996)
- Honored Artist of the RSFSR (1959)
- People’s Artist of the RSFSR (1961)
- People’s Artist of USSR (1966)
- People’s Artist of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan
- People’s Artist of the Republic of Bashkortostan (1994)
- Honored Artist of Udmurtia.
- Honorary Doctor of the Moldovan National Academy of Music (1998)
- Honorary Doctor of RCTU (2001)
- Professor of Moscow State Conservatory
Arkhipova was entered into the Russian Book of Records as the most titled Russian singer. Minor planet number 4424 was named “Arkhipova,” in 1995.
ELENA D’ANGRI (also known as Elena Angri) (May 1821 or 1824, Corfu – 1886, Barcelona) was a Greek-born operatic contralto of Italian origin who was active in the mid-19th century in European opera houses and in the United States.
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The daughter of Saverio di Gennaro (originally from Naples) and Maria Vitturi, her real name was Angri Nazarrena Mattia Elena Catterina.She was baptised on 10 June 1821 at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St James and St Christopher in Corfu, Greece.
During the 1855/1856 season at the Teatro Regio in Turin, she performed in La Cenerentola (as Angelina), The Barber of Seville (as Rosina), and Il trovatore (as Azucena). Later in 1856, she performed for the first time in New York City, accompanied by the pianist and composer Sigismond Thalberg.[
MARIAN ANDERSON (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993) was an African-American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century.
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Music critic Alan Blyth said “Her voice was a rich, vibrant contralto of intrinsic beauty.” Most of her singing career was spent performing in concert and recital in major music venues and with famous orchestras throughout the United States and Europe between 1925 and 1965. Although offered roles with many important European opera companies, Anderson declined, as she had no training in acting. She preferred to perform in concert and recital only. She did, however, perform opera arias within her concerts and recitals. She made many recordings that reflected her broad performance repertoire of everything from concert literature to lieder to opera to traditional American songs and spirituals.
Anderson became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid-twentieth century. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. The incident placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community on a level unusual for a classical musician. With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. She sang before a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. Anderson continued to break barriers for black artists in the United States, becoming the first black person, American or otherwise, to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 7, 1955. Her performance as Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi‘s Un ballo in maschera at the Met was the only time she sang an opera role on stage.
Anderson worked for several years as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and as a “goodwill ambassadress” for the United States Department of State, giving concerts all over the world. She participated in the civil rights movement in the 1960s, singing at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
Early life and career
Marian Anderson was born on February 27, 1897, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of John Berkley Anderson and the former Annie Delilah Rucker. Her father sold ice and coal in downtown Philadelphia at the Reading Terminal and eventually opened a small liquor business as well. Prior to her marriage, Anderson’s mother had briefly attended the Virginia Seminary and College in Lynchburg and had worked as a schoolteacher in Virginia. As she did not obtain a degree, Annie Anderson was unable to teach in Philadelphia under a law that was applied only to black teachers and not white ones. She therefore earned an income looking after small children. Marian was the eldest of the three Anderson children. Her two sisters, Alice (later spelled Alyse) (1899–1965) and Ethel (1902–1990), also became singers. Ethel married James DePreist and their son, James Anderson DePreist is a noted conductor.
Anderson’s parents were both devout Christians and the whole family was active in the Union Baptist Church in South Philadelphia. Marian’s Aunt Mary (John Berkley’s sister) was particularly active in the church’s musical life and, noticing her niece’s talent, convinced her to join the junior church choir at the age of six. In that role she got to perform solos and duets, often with Aunt Mary who also had a fine voice. Marian was also taken by her aunt to concerts at local churches, the YMCA, and other community music events throughout the city. Anderson credited her aunt’s influence as the reason she pursued a singing career. Beginning as young as six, her aunt arranged for Marian to sing for local functions where she was often paid 25 or 50 cents for singing a few songs. As she got into her early teens, Marian began to make as much as four or five dollars for singing; a considerable amount of money for the early 20th century. At the age of 10, Marian joined the People’s Chorus under the direction of singer Emma Azalia Hackley, where she was often given solos.
When Marian was 12, her father was accidentally struck on the head while at work at the Reading Terminal, just a few weeks before Christmas of 1909. He died of heart failure a month later at age 34. Marian and her family moved into the home of her father’s parents, Grandpa Benjamin and Grandma Isabella Anderson. Her grandfather had been born a slave and had experienced emancipation in the 1860s. He was the first of the Anderson family to settle in South Philadelphia, and when Marian moved into his home the two became very close. He died only about a year after the family moved in.
Anderson attended Stanton Grammar School, graduating in the summer of 1912. Her family, however, could not afford to send
her to high school, nor could they pay for any music lessons. Still, Marian continued to perform wherever she could and learn from anyone who was willing to teach her. Throughout her teenage years, Marian remained active in her church’s musical activities, now heavily involved in the adult choir. She joined the Baptists’ Young People’s Union and the Camp Fire Girls which provided her with some limited musical opportunities. Eventually the directors of the People’s Chorus and the pastor of her church, Reverend Wesley Parks, along with other leaders of the black community, banded together to help Marian. They raised the money she needed to get singing lessons with Mary S. Patterson and to attend South Philadelphia High School, from which she graduated in 1921.
After high school, Marian applied to an all-white music school, the Philadelphia Music Academy (now University of the Arts), but was turned away because she was black. The woman working the admissions counter replied, “We don’t take colored” when she tried to apply. Undaunted, Anderson pursued studies privately withGiuseppe Boghetti and Agnes Reifsnyder in her native city through the continued support of the Philadelphia black community. She met Boghetti through the principal of her high school. Marian auditioned for him singing ‘Deep River’ and he was immediately brought to tears. In 1925 Anderson got her first big break when she won first prize in a singing competition sponsored by the New York Philharmonic. As the winner she got to perform in concert with the orchestra on August 26, 1925, a performance that scored immediate success with both audience and music critics. Anderson remained in New York to pursue further studies with Frank La Forge. During the time Arthur Judson, whom she had met through the NYP, became her manager. Over the next several years, she made a number of concert appearances in the United States, but racial prejudice prevented her career from gaining much momentum. In 1928, she sang for the first time at Carnegie Hall. Eventually she decided to go to Europe where she spent a number of months studying with Sara Charles-Cahier before launching a highly successful European singing tour.
Anderson at the Department of the Interior in 1943, commemorating her 1939 concert
In 1930 Anderson made her European debut in a concert at Wigmore Hall in London where she was received enthusiastically. She spent the early 1930s touring throughout Europe where she did not encounter the racial prejudices she had experienced in America. In the summer of 1930 she went toScandinavia where she met the Finnish pianist Kosti Vehanen who became her regular accompanist and her vocal coach for many years. She also metJean Sibelius through Vehanen after he had heard her in a concert in Helsinki. Moved by her performance, Sibelius invited them to his home and asked his wife to bring champagne in place of the traditional coffee. Sibelius commented to Anderson of her performance that he felt that she had been able to penetrate the Nordic soul. The two struck up an immediate friendship, which further blossomed into a professional partnership, and for many years Sibelius altered and composed songs for Anderson to perform. He created a new arrangement of the song “Solitude” and dedicated it to Anderson in 1939. Originally The Jewish Girl’s Song from his 1906 incidental music to Belshazzar’s Feast, it later became the “Solitude” section of the orchestral suite derived from the incidental music.
In 1934 impresario Sol Hurok offered Anderson a better contract than she previously had with Arthur Judson. He became her manager for the rest of her performing career and through his persuasion she came back to perform in America. In 1935, Anderson made her first recital appearance in New York atTown Hall which received highly favorable reviews by music critics. She spent the next four years touring throughout the United States and Europe. She was offered opera roles by several European houses but, due to her lack of acting experience, Anderson declined all of these offers. She did, however, record a number of opera arias in the studio which became bestsellers.
Anderson, accompanied by Vehanen, continued to tour throughout Europe during the mid 1930s. She visited Eastern European capitals and Russia and returned again to Scandinavia, where “Marian fever” had spread to small towns and villages where she had thousands of fans. She quickly became a favorite of many conductors and composers of major European orchestras. During a 1935 tour in Salzburg, the famed conductor Arturo Toscanini told her she had a voice “heard once in a hundred years.”
1939 Lincoln Memorial concert
In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in theirConstitution Hall. At the time, Washington, D.C., was a segregated city and black patrons were upset that they had to sit at the back of Constitution Hall. The District of Columbia Board of Education also declined a request to use the auditorium of a white public high school. As a result of the ensuing furor, thousands of DAR members, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, resigned.
Author Zora Neale Hurston criticized Eleanor Roosevelt’s public silence about the similar decision by the District of Columbia Board of Education, while the District was under the control of committees of a Democratic Congress, to first deny, and then place race-based restrictions on, a proposed concert by Anderson.
President Roosevelt and Walter White, then-executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Anderson’s manager, impresario Sol Hurok, persuadedSecretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes to arrange an open air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The concert was performed on Easter Sunday, April 9, and Anderson was accompanied, as usual, by Vehanen. They began the performance with a dignified and stirring rendition of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee“. The event attracted a crowd of more than 75,000 of all colors and was a sensation with a national radio audience of millions.
Anderson in her 9th of April 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial
Midlife and career
During World War II and the Korean War, Marian Anderson entertained troops in hospitals and bases. In 1943, she sang at Constitution Hall at the invitation of the DAR to an integrated audience as part of a benefit for the American Red Cross. She said of the event, “When I finally walked onto the stage of Constitution Hall, I felt no different than I had in other halls. There was no sense of triumph. I felt that it was a beautiful concert hall and I was very happy to sing there.” By contrast, the District of Columbia Board of Education continued to bar her from using the high school auditorium in the District of Columbia.
On July 17, 1943, in Bethel, Connecticut, Anderson became the second wife of a man who had asked her to marry him when they were teenagers, architect Orpheus H. Fisher (1900–86), known as King. The wedding was a private ceremony performed by United Methodist pastor Rev. Jack Grenfell and was the subject of a short story titled “The ‘Inside’ Story” written by Rev. Grenfell’s wife, Dr. Clarine Coffin Grenfell, in her book Women My Husband Married, including Marian Anderson. According to Dr. Grenfell, the wedding was originally supposed to take place in the parsonage, but because of a bake sale on the lawn of the Bethel United Methodist Church, was moved at the last minute to the Elmwood Chapel, on the site of the Elmwood Cemetery in Bethel, in order to allow the event to remain private.
By this marriage she had a stepson, James Fisher, from her husband’s previous marriage to Ida Gould. The couple had purchased a 100-acre (0.40 km2) farm in Danbury, Connecticut, three years earlier in 1940 after an exhaustive search throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Many purchases were attempted but thwarted by property sellers who took their homes off the market when they discovered the purchasers would be African-Americans. Through the years Fisher built many outbuildings on the property that became known as Marianna Farm, including an acoustic rehearsal studio he designed for his wife. The property remained Anderson’s home for almost 50 years.
On January 7, 1955, Anderson became the first African-American to perform with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. On that occasion, she sang the part of Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi‘s Un ballo in maschera (opposite Zinka Milanov, then Herva Nelli, as Amelia) at the invitation of director Rudolf Bing. Anderson said later about the evening, “The curtain rose on the second scene and I was there on stage, mixing the witch’s brew. I trembled, and when the audience applauded and applauded before I could sing a note, I felt myself tightening into a knot.” Although she never appeared with the company again after this production, Anderson was named a permanent member of the Metropolitan Opera company. The following year she published her autobiography, My Lord, What a Morning, which became a bestseller.
In 1957, she sang for President Dwight D. Eisenhower‘s inauguration and toured India and the Far East as a goodwill ambassadress through the U.S. State Department and the American National Theater and Academy. She traveled 35,000 miles (56,000 km) in 12 weeks, giving 24 concerts. After that, President Eisenhower appointed her as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. The same year, she was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1958 she was officially designated delegate to the United Nations, a formalization of her role as “goodwill ambassadress” of the U.S. which she had played earlier.
On January 20, 1961 she sang for President John F. Kennedy‘s inauguration, and in 1962 she performed for President Kennedy and other dignitaries in the East Room of the White House, and also toured Australia. She was active in supporting the civil rights movement during the 1960s, giving benefit concerts for the Congress of Racial Equality, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. In 1963, she sang at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. That same year she was one of the original 31 recipients of the newly reinstituted Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is awarded for “especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interest of the United States, World Peace or cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”. She also released her album, Snoopycat: The Adventures of Marian Anderson’s Cat Snoopy, which included short stories and songs about her beloved black cat. In 1965, she christened the nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine, USS George Washington Carver. That same year Anderson concluded her farewell tour, after which she retired from public performance. The international tour began at Constitution Hall on Saturday October 24, 1964, and ended at Carnegie Hall on April 18, 1965.
“Marian Anderson, world’s greatest contralto, entertains a group of overseas veterans and WACs on [the] stage of the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium…”, 04/11/1945
As a citizen of Danbury, Connecticut
From 1940 she resided at a 50-acre farm, having sold half of the original 100 acres, that she named Marianna Farm. The farm was on Joe’s Hill Road, in the Mill Plain section of Danbury in western Danbury, northwest of what in December 1961 became the interchange between Interstate 84, U.S. 6 and U.S. 202. She constructed a three-bedroom ranchhouse as a residence, and she used a separate one-room structure as her studio. In 1996 the farm was named one of 60 sites on the Connecticut Freedom Trail. The studio was moved to downtown Danbury as the Marian Anderson studio.
As a town resident she was set on waiting in line at shops and restaurants, declining offers to go ahead as a celebrity. She was known to visit the Danbury State Fair. She sang at the city hall on the occasion of the lighting of Christmas ornaments. She gave a concert at the Danbury High School. She served on the boards of the Danbury Music Center and supported the Charles IvesCenter for the Arts the Danbury Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P.
Although Anderson retired from singing in 1965, she continued to appear publicly. On several occasions she narrated Aaron Copland‘s Lincoln Portrait, including a performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Saratoga in 1976, conducted by the composer. Her achievements were recognized and honored with many prizes, including the NAACP‘s Spingarn Medal in 1939; University of Pennsylvania Glee Club Award of Merit in 1973; the United Nations Peace Prize, New York City’s Handel Medallion, and the Congressional Gold Medal, all in 1977; Kennedy Center Honors in 1978; the George Peabody Medal in 1981; theNational Medal of Arts in 1986; and a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1991. In 1980, the United States Treasury Department coined a half-ounce gold commemorative medal with her likeness, and in 1984 she was the first recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award of the City of New York. She has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from Howard University, Temple University and Smith College.
In 1986, Anderson’s husband, Orpheus Fisher, died after 43 years of marriage. Anderson remained in residence at Marianna Farm until 1992, one year before her death. Although the property was sold to developers, various preservationists as well as the City of Danbury fought to protect Anderson’s studio. Their efforts proved successful and the Danbury Museum and Historical Society received a grant from the State of Connecticut, relocated the structure, restored it, and opened it to the public in 2004. In addition to seeing the studio, visitors can see photographs and memorabilia from milestones in Anderson’s career.
Anderson died of congestive heart failure on April 8, 1993, at age 96. She had suffered a stroke a month earlier. She died in Portland, Oregon, at the home of her nephew, conductor James DePreist. She is interred at Eden Cemetery, in Collingdale, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia.
The life and art of Marian Anderson has inspired several writers and artists. She was an example and an inspiration to both Leontyne Price and Jessye Norman. In 1999 a one-act musical play entitled My Lord, What a Morning: The Marian Anderson Story was produced by the Kennedy Center. In 2001, the 1939 documentary film, Marian Anderson: the Lincoln Memorial Concert was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante included Marian Anderson in his book, 100 Greatest African Americans. On January 27, 2005, a commemorative U.S. postage stamp honored Marian Anderson as part of the Black Heritage series. Anderson is also pictured on the US$5,000 Series I United States Savings Bond.
Marian Anderson Award
The Marian Anderson Award was originally established in 1943 by Anderson after she was awarded the $10,000 Bok Prize that year by the city of Philadelphia. Anderson used the award money to establish a singing competition to help support young singers; recipients of which include Camilla Williams (1943, 1944), Nathaniel Dickerson (1944), Louise Parker (1944), Rawn Spearman(1949), Georgia Laster (1951), Betty Allen (1952), Shirlee Emmons (1953), Judith Raskin (1952, 1953), Miriam Holman (1954), Shirley Verrett (1957), and Joyce Mathis (1967). Eventually the prize fund ran out of money and it was disbanded. Florence Quivar was the last recipient of this earlier award in 1976.
In 1990 the award was re-established and has dispensed $25,000 annually. In 1998 the prize was restructured with the “Marian Anderson Award” going to an established artist, not necessarily a singer, who exhibits leadership in a humanitarian area. A separate prize, the “Marian Anderson Prize for Emerging Classical Artists” is given to promising young classical singers.
Awardees by year:
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Date: Unknown. Artist active first half of 19th century.
Born Emma Howson, she was the daughter of Francis Howson, an English music professor. She was a pupil of Michael Costa with whom she began studying at the age of 14 in London. She debuted in 1829 at Argyle Rooms, London. She was engaged at Her Majesty’s Theatre in 1830, and then inPiacenza, Italy in 1831, where she married the Italian lawyer Albertazzi. While in Italy she was a pupil of famed soprano Giuditta Pasta. She sang inLa Scala (1831), Madrid (1833), and Paris at the Théâtre des Italiens (1830, 1835, 1837), her most brilliant period. She reappeared in London in 1837-1839 where she notably performed in the world premiere of Michael William Balfe‘s Falstaff on 19 July 1838. She then went back to Italy where she performed during the 1840s, although she appeared at the Princess’s Theatre in London in October 1846 for the world premiere performances of Edward Loder‘s opera The Wilis, or The Night Dancers in the role of Giselle opposite Sara Flower in the role of Bertha. The Wilis ran for 21 performances, with Albertazzi’s final performance on 7 January 1847. She had, however, already given a farewell concert in London in 1846.
According to Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, she had a fine voice, but no passion or animation in singing or acting. Henry Fothergill Chorley (1808–1872) expressed the same view in his musical memoirs. However, his near contemporary, dramatic author, Edward Fitzball took a different view:
As Ninetta in La Gazza Ladra – a more beautiful representative … never presented itself to the tearful eye, or tender heart , …Her voice was unsurpassable … . Her singing of Di Piacer is not to be described. … poor lovely Albertazzi, … died young after a brief career, like a bird that sings sweetly beneath our lattice, then takes flight to more sunny regions. … An Englishwoman by birth … voice and execution have seldom been surpassed by a foreigner.
According to Fitzball, Albertazzi ‘died young in a deep decline’, the term ‘deep decline’ possibly period code for tuberculous meningitis.
Albertazzi was the sister of singers Francis [Frank] and John Howson who made important contributions to operatic history in Australia 1840s- 1860s; and aunt to Frank Howson’s daughter Emma Howson, soprano and vocal teacher, who, with the Howson troupe, toured in the U.S. in the 1870s with some success, settling there permanently.