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APRIL 16, 1918 - FEBRUARY 15, 1985

Contralto Carol Brice’s career encompassed solo recital work, operatic roles, and Broadway performances. She debuted in The Hot Mikado at the World’s Fair in New York City in 1939 while studying at Juilliard. In 1944, she became the first African American singer to win the prestigious International Naumburg Competition. Brice was among the first African American singers to perform with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and one of the first to receive an extended contract with the Metropolitan Opera in the 1950s. On Broadway, she performed roles in Finian’s Rainbow, Showboat, and Porgy and Bess. She became a member of the Vienna Volksoper from 1967-1971. After joining the faculty of the University of Oklahoma in 1973, Brice co-founded the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company. She was accorded many honors, including an invitation to sing at the inauguration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, and a Grammy Award in 1978 for her solo work in Porgy and Bess.

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