Contralto Marian Anderson in the role of Ulrica from a Metropolitan Opera production of Verdi's Un ballo en maschera in 1955. Anderson was the first African-American soloist to appear at the Met. Sedge LeBlang/Metropolitan Opera Archives hide caption

itoggle caption Sedge LeBlang/Metropolitan Opera Archives

Contralto Marian Anderson sang at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, April 9, 1939, to an estimated crowd of 75,000 people. University of Pennsylvania hide caption

itoggle caption University of Pennsylvania

Marian Anderson broke the color barrier at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955 when she starred in Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera. Sony Classical Archives hide caption

itoggle caption Sony Classical Archives

Deceptive Cadence

Marian Anderson's Long Overdue Operatic Moment

Hear the famed contralto sing Verdi in a newly issued 1955 radio broadcast, live from the Metropolitan Opera.

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The Victor Orchestra crowds around an enormous horn for an early acoustical recording session. courtesy of Recorded Sound Section, MBRS Division, Library of Congress hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of Recorded Sound Section, MBRS Division, Library of Congress