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Condition: Very Good No Binding

AbeBooks Seller Since April 13, 2010

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Historically important 10x8" b&w (sepia toned) photo of The National Negro Opera Company and its founder - Mary Cardwell Dawson ((1894-1962) - which gave aspiring Black opera singers a chance to develop and perform. This opera opera group performed and had chapters in various cities. She was born in North Carolina and trained at the New England Conservatory Of Music and the Chicago Musical College. In 1941 she founded the National Negro Opera Company. Dawson was an impressive person, a pianist and a soprano who could play a number of musical roles well. She encouraged and supported not only those in her own opera company (who were primarily classically oriented) but also others including jazz musicians (e.g. Ahmed Jamal and Errol Garner). Many important Black concert and classical singers and musicians worked with her at one time or another (e.g. Evanti, Boatner, etc.). In 1939-41 she was the first woman president of the National Assoc. Of Negro Musicians. She was a woman of great determination and almost single-handedly kept the opera going despite many financial, logistical and racial obstacles. Sometimes, at literally the last minute before the curtain rose - she was able to get top name unwilling Black opera stars to sing by somehow coming up with the money to pay them. Her career triumph was the 1956 production of Clarence Cameron White's "Ouanga" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (the first time a group other than the Metropolitan Opera's own singers performed there). Historic, rare & desirable. VG. Bookseller Inventory # 000043

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Binding: No Binding

Book Condition:Very Good

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Specialist in: 1. Historical materials such as American archives, books, historic photographs and some works on paper 2. African American history, art and culture 3. Appraisal and consultation services 4. Non-fiction historical objects and research material

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Elvin Montgomery
519 W. 121st St., #3B
New York, NY - 10027

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