Sissieretta Jones: Pioneering African American Diva
Friday - August 16, 2013
About This Show
Sissieretta Jones, “The Greatest Singer of Her Race,” 1868-1933 (USC Press, 2012), recounts the life of Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones, a classically trained soprano who was also called the “Black Patti,” a nickname that likened her to the famous white, European opera star Adelina Patti. Jones sang before four U.S. presidents and for several prominent European leaders. She performed in famous venues such as Carnegie Hall, London’s Covent Garden, and Madison Square Garden, as well as in hundreds of theaters and opera houses throughout the United States and Canada. Yet, this remarkable singer’s accomplishments have been largely overlooked.
South Carolina author Maureen Lee explores the obstacles and limitations Jones faced because of her race, as well as the opportunities she seized, and chronicles the development of black entertainment during the late nineteenth, and early twentieth, centuries.
Maureen Jones' web site: www.sissierettajones.com.