WILLIAMS--Camilla. Age 92, January 29, 2012 - New York City Opera mourns with profound sadness the passing of one of America's musical heroes, the trailblazing soprano Camilla Williams. On May 15, 1946 at New York City Center, Camilla made her critically-heralded operatic stage debut in NYC Opera's first production of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" marking the first time an African-American woman appeared on stage with a major US opera company. Camilla went on to perform with NYC Opera and other opera companies around the world for 25 years before retiring in 1971 when she began her career as a teacher, becoming the first African-American Professor of Voice at Indiana University. NYC Opera is immeasurably proud to have played an important role in Camilla's career and is forever grateful for her contributions to the art of opera. NYC Opera extends its deepest condolences to Camilla's family, friends, students, and all whose lives were touched by her talent.
Published in The New York Times on Feb. 1, 2012