Mattiwilda Dobbs


Age: 90

coloratura soprano opera singer who became the third African-American to appear as a principal singer with the Metropolitan Opera as Gilda in Verdi's Rigoletto on November 9, 1956 and was preceded by contralto Marian Anderson (who made her debut in January 1955) and baritone Robert McFerrin (father of jazz singer Bobby Ferrin) after he made his debut a few weeks later, who appeared with the company 29 times through 1964 and whose roles there included the title part in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor for which the audience summoned her back for nine curtain calls after her mad scene.

Cause of Death: Cancer

Born: July 11, 1925

Died: December 8, 2015

Atlanta, Georgia