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Camilla Williams

Opera singer from United States of America

Camilla Ella Williams (October 18, 1919 – January 29, 2012) was an American operatic soprano who performed nationally and internationally. After studying with renowned teachers in New York City, she was the first African American to receive a regular contract with a major American opera company, the New York City Opera. She had earlier won honors in vocal competitions and the Marian Anderson Fellowship in 1943-1944. In 1954 she became the first African American to sing a major role with the Vienna State Opera. She later also performed as a soloist with numerous European orchestras. As a concert artist, she toured throughout the United States as well as Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In 1977, she was the first African American appointed as Professor of Voice at Indiana University, and she taught there until 1997. On October 18, 1919, Camilla Ella Williams was born in Danville, Virginia, to Fannie Carey Williams and Cornelius Booker Williams, who worked as a chauffeur. She was the youngest of four children (Mary, Helen, and Cornelius). "My grandparents and parents were self-taught musicians; all of them sang, and there was always music in our home." Camilla's grandfather, Alexander  ( Wikipedia article )

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Personal facts

Date of birth
1919-10-18
Place of birth
Danville
Nationality
United States of America
Profession
Singer

Education

Institution From To
Virginia State University

Death

Date of death
2012-01-29

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