I am so thankful that a local news station reported on the exhibit honoring Camilla Williams at the Danville History and Fine Arts Museum in Danville recently.
Camilla Ella Williams (October 18, 1919 – January 29, 2012) was an American operatic soprano who performed nationally and internationally. After studying with renowned teachers in New York City, she was the first African American to receive a regular contract with a major American opera company, the New York City Opera. She had earlier won honors in vocal competitions and the Marian Anderson Fellowship in 1943-44.
The Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History is honoring a famous Danville icon.
The Camilla Williams exhibit opened on Sunday to remember the life of the famous singer.
Williams, a Danville native, was the first African-American woman to appear and receive a contract from the New York City Opera with "Madame Butterfly."
The Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History held a reception for the Camilla Williams exhibit Sunday highlighting the Danville native’s life and her distinguished career as an opera performer. Williams, who was born in Danville in 1919 and died in Bloomington, Indiana, in January 2012, was the first African American woman to appear in a major American opera house, performing the role of Cio-Cio San in “Madame Butterfly.”
On Sunday, the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History will unveil its newest exhibit, a tribute to Camilla Williams.
The Camilla Williams exhibition “highlights the relationship of the famed New York opera diva and her hometown, Danville, while exploring the difficult path to fame in a racially divided South during the civil rights movement.”