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Stage & Screen: The Star Quality of Vanderbilt's Performing Arts Collections: Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson and Francis Robinson:

Photograph of Marian Anderson and Francis Robinson outside Carnegie Hall, c. 1974.

Autographed photograph of Marian Anderson given to Francis Robinson.

Marian Anderson: Breaking the Met's Color Barrier:

Marian Anderson, contralto (1897–1993) was the first African-American person to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 7, 1955 (at the age of 57). 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.

Learn More About Marian Anderson:

Books About Marian Anderson:

  • Raymond Arsenault, The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert that Awakened America (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009), Music and Central Libraries ML420 .A6 A77 2009.
  • My Lord, What a Morning: An Autobiography (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002), Music Library ML420 .A6 A3 2002.

Sound Recordings Featuring Marian Anderson: 

  • The American Opera Singer: 36 Great American Singers (New York: RCA Victor Red Seal, p1997), track 7, "Re dell abisso affretati," from Verdi's Un ballo in maschera. Music Library, CD MUS-13336.
  • The Record of Singing (EMI Classics, p2009), track 25, Schubert's "Der Tod und das Madchen." Music Library, CD MUS-13447, v.7.
  • Marian Anderson Sings Spirituals (Wadhurst, E. Sussex, England: Pavillion Records, p1995), track 1, "Deep River." Music Library, CD MUS-2660.