Mattiwilda Dobbs in Milan 1953

Mattiwilda Dobbs, a coloratura soprano who was the third African-American to appear as a principal singer with the Metropolitan Opera, died on Tuesday at her home in Atlanta. She was 90.

We were privileged to know Mattiwilda as a warm and gracious human being. She was an artist of remarkable vocal intelligence and beauty. The heavenly choir of angels will welcome her with joy as she joins them in singing some of her favorite Bach and her incomparable version of the Negro Spiritual, Let Us Break Bread Together On Our Knees.

Rest in Peace, Mattiwilda.

This photo of Ms. Dobbs was taken outside La Scala in Milan in 1953, where she sang the role of Elvina in the Rossini opera L’italiana in Algeri ”making her, at 25, the first African-American singer to appear at the famed opera house. Her full New York Times obituary can be found here


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