Available for Purchase
Emancipation Proclamation: San Francisco and African American Concert Singers: In Paradisum 1880-2000 by Archivist/Historian, Bill Doggett
Published August 26th, 2015, THE ARGONAUT,
The Journal of The San Francisco Museum and Historical Society Volume 26, No.1, Summer 2015
This excellent 16 page Feature is filled with rare archival material from my Collection of African American Concert and Opera Singer History. The feature bespeaks a future larger book on the subject.
It is available in its digital form for $10.00
The hard copy version which includes additional major features on The San Francisco Chronicle Newspaper@150 years, San Francisco City Hall 1870-1906 and The 1950 Documentary Project in The Western Addition of San Francisco is available for $20.00
Read a sample here along with archival images that accompany.
Note, my narrative embraces the story of African American Concert Singers that extends beyond San Francisco.
It is also the story of Race and Race Relations in The Classical Performing Arts in New York City after World War II.
It is the story of Exile Emigre Jewish Artistic Director and General Manager of "The People's Opera"-New York City Opera, Lazslo Halasz , who escaped Hitler's Europe only because of the critical invitation/sponsorship of Arturo Toscanini to conduct in New York .
It is the story of progressive conductors Serge Koussevitsky, Eugene Ormandy, Fritz Reiner, Leopold Stokowski , Pierre Monteux fast forward to San Francisco Opera General Managers, Kurt Herbert Adler and Lotfi Mansouri who made it possible for the world to experience the gift to the classical performing arts and opera worlds embodied by African American Concert/Opera Singers.
To read more, purchase this 16 page Feature in digital format or the full hard copy here .
Rave Review of Journal Feature by former San Francisco Opera Chorus member, Ken Malucelli
" I am continually impressed by the excellent feature articles in The Argonaut, the quarterly published by the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, but Bill Doggett’s outstanding piece on African American concert and opera artists struck so close to home, I had to comment.
Being a native San Franciscan growing up in the Excelsior district during the ‘40s-‘50s, I also had the privilege of being one of the first members of the San Francisco Boys Chorus, right off the bat an ethnically diverse group. In addition, my Italian father and his brothers owned and operated a grocery store in the heart of the then-predominately-black Fillmore district. And last, I was a Professional Chorister with San Francisco Opera from 1972-1989, and became friendlly with several singers mentioned in Mr. Doggett’s article.
The photos of Leontyne Price reminded me of being on stage with her during one of her last performances of Aïda; the photo of Leona Mitchell brought to mind her lovely Micaela (Carmen) and Liù (Turandot), and the mention of Reri Grist reminded me of the photo I have of her and me posing in costume (Manon, 1981) for a magazine article.
Bill Doggett’s piece should be reprinted in SF Opera’s season programs as well as in other arts magazines and publications. It is a vital link to the histories, both political and cultural, of African American artists."