Today in Black History 07/24/2015 | Caterina Jarboro - The Charles H. Wright Museum Blog

Today in Black History 07/24/2015 | Caterina Jarboro

July 24, 1908 Caterina Jarboro, the first Black opera singer to sing on an opera stage in the United States, was born Katherine Lee Yarborough in Wilmington, North Carolina. Jarboro was sent to Brooklyn, New York at 13 to study music. She also studied in Paris, France and made her grand opera debut in Milan, Italy in “Aide” in 1929. She continued to sing in France and Italy until 1933 when she joined the Chicago Opera Company and became the first Black singer to sing on an opera stage in the U. S. After her final engagement with the Chicago Opera in 1935, Jarboro sang for four seasons in Europe. She returned to the U. S. in 1941 and retired as a singer in 1955. Jarboro died August 13, 1986.

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