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Lillian Evanti

Lillian Evanti

Internationally Renowned Opera Singer

Lillian Evanti, born Lillian Evans in 1890, was a renowned soprano and a trailblazer who shattered racial barriers in the opera world. Growing up in Washington DC, Evanti immersed herself in its rich cultural landscape. After graduating from Howard University in 1907, she pursued her passion for music, facing limited opportunities within the US due to racial discrimination. In 1924, she found her true stage in Europe, adopting the stage name “Evanti” and captivating audiences with her powerful coloratura soprano voice. She became the first African American to perform with a major European opera company, a groundbreaking achievement that resonated globally.


Throughout her career, Evanti returned to Washington, showcasing her talents at local events and inspiring aspiring musicians. She actively championed racial equality and used her platform to promote understanding and cultural exchange. Notably, she composed "Himno Pan-Americano," a bilingual anthem highlighting unity among Pan-American nations, and "A Salute to Ghana," honoring the newly independent nation.


More than just a talented vocalist, Lillian Evanti's legacy shines brightly as a pioneer, a homegrown star, and a champion of inclusion. As the first African American to grace the stage of a major European opera company, she paved the way for future generations of singers, shattering racial barriers with her powerful voice. While her career soared internationally, Evanti never forgot her roots, consistently returning to Washington D.C. to perform and nurture young talent, inspiring local communities with her artistic brilliance. Beyond the stage, she extended her influence by advocating for peace and understanding across cultures and races, using her music as a bridge to connect hearts and minds. Through her pioneering spirit, her unwavering connection to home, and her dedication to inclusivity, Lillian Evanti left an indelible mark on the world, reminding us that art has the power to unite and inspire.


Lillian Evanti's life and achievements represent a powerful testament to resilience, talent, and the transformative power of artistic expression. While not directly involved in the visual arts scene of Washington DC, her legacy remains deeply intertwined with the city's cultural fabric, inspiring others to pursue their dreams and challenge boundaries.u want to display, such as rich text, images, and videos. Be sure to click Sync after making changes in a collection, so visitors can see your newest content on your live site.


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