December 8, 2019

Today in History: Marian Anderson

Today in History–January 7–the Library of Congress features singer Marian Anderson, who made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on his day in 1955. Barred from attending a Philadelphia music school because of her race, Anderson's family, friends and church helped fund private voice lessons. Although she toured Europe and the United States extensively, Anderson continued to suffer discrimination. In the most infamous incident, in 1939 Anderson was prohibited from performing … [Read more...]

Today in History: Jenny Lind

Today in History–September 11–the Library of Congress features soprano Jenny Lind, who made her American debut in New York City on this date in 1850. The concert was the first of a 93-stop American tour for the 19th-century singing sensation who sang opera as well as popular songs. Learn more about the "Swedish nightingale" by visiting the Today in History section and clicking the links below. Jenny Lind image set Jenny Lind sheet music Jenny Lind's prize song (sheet music & song … [Read more...]

Today in History: George Gershwin & Gullah Culture

Today in History–September 2–the Library of Congress features George Gershwin, who completed the orchestral score of the opera—Porgy and Bess—based on the DuBose Heyward novel on this date in 1935. The opera, like the novel, depicted the African-American Gullah culture of South Carolina. Learn more about this remarkable man and his collaborators on the internationally known opera by visiting the Today in History section and clicking the links below. Porgy and Bess: American Treasure (online … [Read more...]

Featured Image: Dracula

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Today in History: Victor Herbert

Today in History–February 1–the Library of Congress features composer Victor Herbert, born on this date in 1859 in Dublin, Ireland. After immigrating to the United States in 1886 with his wife, opera singer Therese Foerster, Herbert quickly became active in the musical life of New York City. Herbert worked with worked for the Metropolitan Opera, was bandmaster of the 22nd Regiment Band of New York, directed the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and then formed the Victor Herbert Orchestra. Learn … [Read more...]

Guided Primary Source Analysis: L’Africana – L’Africaine Opera

Explain what you know about opera. Click the image above to access the digital book. Choose one opera and read the description. Summarize the story for a friend. Listen to one of the songs from the opera you selected. Listen to it once. Then fill out a sensory exploration chart as you listen to the recording again. What other observations, reflections or questions does this source inspire? Let us know! … [Read more...]

Today in History: Metropolitan Opera House

Today in History–October 22–the Library of Congress features New York's Metropolitan Opera House, which opened its doors on this day in 1883. In addition to staging operas, the Met and other opera houses also hosted charity events, community dances, fairs, plays, vaudeville shows, and even funerals. Find out more about this prestigious cultural institution by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources related to the Met and opera. Be sure not … [Read more...]

Today in History: Thornton Wilder

Today in History–April 17–the Library of Congress features writer Thornton Wilder, born on this day in 1897. This lauded American writer produced award-winning (3 Pulitzer Prizes and 1 National Book Award) plays, novels, essays, and more. Find out more about this literary master by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access primary sources about Wilder and the theater. Playwright Thornton Wilder Was Born from America's Library Thornton Wilder image … [Read more...]

Today in History: Leontyne Price

Today in History–February 10–the Library of Congress features singer Leontyne Price, born on this date in 1927. This opera star earned 18 Grammy awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Learn more about Price by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access primary sources about opera from across the Library. Leontyne Price Born from America's Library Leontyne Price image set #Opera Before Instagram: Portraits, 1890–1955 online exhibition Opera song … [Read more...]