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Negro Opera Singer Hailed in Bayreuth after Wagner Performance

July 25, 1961 - Grace Bumbry, American Negro singer, was hailed today in Bayreuth for her performance as Venus in Wagner's "Tannhäuser" despite protests by some Germans. The complainers said that a Negro should not be allowed to sing the Venus role at the annual festival because she wasn't Nordic. Today, West Germany's music critics were singing Miss Bumbry's praises. Die Welt of Hamburg called Miss Bumbry a "big discovery" and the Süddeutsche Zeitung of Munich called her "the fascinating colored Venus." The festival management had received more than 200 protest letters before her performance.




#opera #wagner #richardwagner #music #classicalmusic #civilrights #civilrightsmovement #integration #jimcrow #racism