Mydreamalive.com presents the Iconic Leontyne Price

What does it take to change the face of African-American culture?

A person that believes in what they believe and does not care what anyone else thinks!

One of her favorite quotes:

Accomplishment has no color

                                                         Leontyne Price

What an amazing person, performer, and voice like no nother.

Born in Laurel, Mississippi on February 10, 1927, Leontyne price grew up with  the love of music stirring inside of her veins. Like most African-American children, Leontyne got her music chops and internship in church, growing up listening to the type of music that could stir a soul. She new right then and there that she was going to make music, and affecting people’s lives, her  profession.

Now here is where the story gets interesting.

She chose to pursue a career in Classical/Operatic music and not jazz or gospel music!

huh??

This is where the disconnect happened for many of good ole down home black folks.

She went to Central State College in Wilberforce, Ohio and got encouragement and inspiration to further her love for the genre.  Leontyne went to college to become a music teacher. While hearing her sing one day in a Hall, the President of the College, Dr. Charles H. Wesley encouraged her to change her major from education to voice.

Leontyne Price earned her B.A. in June 1948, and headed to New York to study at the Julliard School of Music where she had won a full tuition scholarship. At Julliard, she received voice training from Florence Ward Kimball, a distinguished teacher, and, in her last year, she gave a strong performance as Mistress Ford in the student production of the opera, Falstaff. Upon seeing her in this production, Virgil Thompson immediately invited her to star in a revival of his opera, Four Saints in Three Acts, which ran on Broadway for three weeks in April 1952. Less than two months later, Price made her debut in Dallas, in a role that would carve her name in the minds of audiences everywhere; she appeared as Bess in a revival of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

Leontyne Price achieved one of the greatest artistic victories of her career on January 27, 1961, when she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera as Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore. This performance ignited a 42-minute ovation, one of the longest in the Met’s history. Critic Harold Schoenberg wrote: “Her voice was dusky and rich in its lower tones, perfectly even in its transitions from one register to another, and flawlessly pure and velvety at the top.”

Over the years, Leontyne Price has won 15 Grammy Awards for vocal recordings she has made, and she has been on the cover of Time and 27 other magazines. In addition, she was the only opera singer to be represented in the list of “Remarkable American Women: 1776-1976” in Life Magazine‘s Bicentennial issue in 1976. She now lives quietly in a cozy house in New York’s Greenwich Village.

Even with her amazing popularity in Europe, her status as an African-American Icon has yet to be truly celebrated!

There is more than enough evidence, rewards, reasons, and accolades to make this happen today!

Derrick Butler is CEO and Founder of Mydreamalive.com which has a mission of changing the negative images that media portrays as African-American heroes, to positive images that are true African-American Icons.

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