st. louis walk of fame

Black History Spotlight: Grace Bumbry

Grace Bumbry is considered one of the foremost mezzo-sopranos of the opera world and has performed some of the most iconic roles during her career, including Lady Macbeth and Princess Eboli of Don Carlo at the Metropolitan Opera House. 

In 1959, Bumbry made her debut in London at 22 years old. During the next two years she performed across Europe, in Switzerland, Italy, France, and Germany. Her stellar performance in Germany – where she was the first black opera singer to perform – earned her the Wagner Medal and worldwide recognition. 

Over the course of her long and successful career, Bumby has been invited to sing at the White House and perform at President Reagan’s inauguration, earned a spot on the St. Louis Walk of Fame, and been recognized for her contributions to the performing arts at the Kennedy Center Honors.

Photo by David Lees