Lillian E. Evanti, a magnificent voice

Lillian Evanti
Tue, 1890-08-12

*Lillian Evans Evanti was born on this date in 1890. A lyric soprano, she was the first African American to sing opera with an organized company in Europe.

Evanti studied and graduated from Howard Universities School of Music in 1917. The name Evanti was a combination of her maiden name and that of her husband and Howard professor, Roy Tibbs. Her most notable performances were in Italy and France including the Casino Theater in Nice (1925) and the Triannon Lyrique in Paris (1927). Evanti mad her debut at Town Hall (Washington D. C.) in 1932 and gave recitals throughout America, Europe, and the Caribbean.

She was honored at the Franklin Roosevelt White House in 1934 and won critical acclaim for her role as Violetta in the National Negro Opera Company’s production of Verdi’s La Traviata in 1943. Lillian Evans Evanti died on December 6th 1967 in Washington D. C.

Black Women in America An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York
ISBN 0-926019-61-9

To Become a Musician or Singer

Person / name: 

Evanti, Lillian E.