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Amanda Ira Aldridge: World’s First Black Composer Of Opera

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Amanda Ira Aldridge

Amanda Ira Aldridge, born in Upper Norwood, London, became the first known Black composer of opera. She is one of very few African-Americans to create a work that was presented on Broadway, according to Richard Dellamora, director at the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Media and Performance Art.

Introduction

Born in London on March 10, 1866, Amanda Ira Aldridge was the daughter of African-American parents who was both musically inclined. Her father, Ira Frederick Aldridge, was a Shakespearian actor and her mother,Amanda Brandt, was a successful actress. Although she always maintained that she was American-born, Amanda Ira Aldridge spent much of her childhood in England and France with her grandmother. There, she began to study music and showed an early aptitude for the piano.

When she was sixteen, Amanda Ira Aldridge returned to the United States to continue her musical education. She enrolled at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and later studied under renowned French composer Camille Saint-Saëns in Paris.

Returning to America again, Amanda Ira Aldridge made history when she became the first African-American opera composer with her work Oberon or The Fairy King of Avalon. First performed in London in 1884, Oberon featured an all-black cast and was very well-received by audiences and critics alike.

Amanda Ira Aldridge continued to compose music and also enjoyed a successful career as a concert pianist. In addition to performing her works, she often played pieces by other African-American composers, such as Scott Joplin and Will Marion Cook. She remained active in the musical world until her death on August 1, 1932.

Biography

Amanda Ira Aldridge was born in London on March 10, 1866, to Rev. Ira Frederick Aldridgeand Emily Howard Kelly Aldridge. Amanda was one of seven children, four born after the family moved from New York City to Philadelphia in 1868. As a child, she showed an aptitude for music and began piano and voice lessons early. When she was sixteen, her father died suddenly, and her mother had to take on odd jobs to support the family. Despite these difficult circumstances, Amanda continued her musical studies with private teachers and at the conservatory attached to the Church of the Holy Trinity in Philadelphia.

In 1892, Amanda made her professional debut as a singer in Boston. She then went on to tour the United States and Europe as a concert singer. During this time, she also composed songs and piano pieces published under the name “Aldredge.” In 1899, she married Manuel Abrantes von Walterhausen, a German engineer whom she met while on a European tour. The couple settled in London, where Amanda continued to pursue her musical career.

In 1903, Amanda made history by becoming the first black composer of opera with her work “Time’s A Wastin’.” The opera was well-received by audiences and critics alike, leading to Amanda appointed as the first professor of composition at the Royal Academy of Music – a position she held until 1907.

Amanda Aldridge Early life

Amanda began her musical training at an early age with private lessons in piano and voice. She made her public debut as a singer at the age of eight.

Amanda studied music at the National Conservatory of Music in New York City as a teenager. She graduated with honors in 1886. After graduation, she toured Europe with her father’s theatre company. While in England, she met composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, and they married in 1912. The couple had three children together.

Amanda composed operas, songs, piano pieces, and religious works during her career. She was the first black woman to have an opera performed by professional singers in the United States. Amanda’s music was heavily influenced by European classical music traditions and spirituals and folk songs from her African heritage. She died in London on August 1, 1956, at 66.

Amanda Aldridge Musical career

Since her debut in 1883, Amanda Ira Aldridge has considered the world’s first black composer of opera. Born in New York City to an African-American mother and a white British father, she was exposed to music early. She began her musical training at the National Conservatory of Music.

Aldridge’s career took her worldwide, from the United States to Europe and Russia. She composed six operas, including “Cinderella” and “The Death of Cleopatra,” both performed at Carnegie Hall. In addition to her work in opera, Aldridge also wrote songs, piano pieces, and religious works.

Throughout her career, Aldridge fought for increased representation of black composers in the classical music world. In 1923, she co-founded the Negro Composers’ Lab with William Grant Still. This organization allowed black composers to have their work performed and recorded.

Aldridge’s legacy continues today through her music, which is still performed worldwide. Her opera “Cinderella” was revived in 2018 by Opera Philadelphia, making her the first black woman to have an opera produced by a major American company in over 100 years.

Compositions for the stage

Aldridge is best known for her work as a composer of opera. She was the first black woman to compose an English-language opera and continued to write operas throughout her career. Her operas were often based on historical events or figures, and she wrote about the experience of being a black woman in a white-dominated society. Also to her operas, Aldridge wrote several other works for the stage, including plays and musicals.

Film and television scores

Aldridge also worked as a composer for film and television. She composed the score for the 1971 film The Liberation of L.B. Jones, which starred Ossie Davis, James Earl Jones, and Muhammad Ali. She also composed music for several episodes of the television series Roots.

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Meu criancinha, consorcio bebe, meu dengo, minha amiga, minha alteza, meu amor

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Meu criancinha, consorcio bebe, meu dengo, minha amiga, minha alteza, meu amor

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15 Hottest Black colored Instagram Patterns & Nude Accounts in the 2024

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