"Grace Melzia Bumbry (born January 4, 1937), an American opera singer, is considered one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation. She was a member of a pioneering generation of singers who followed Marian Anderson (including Leontyne Price, Martina Arroyo, Shirley Verrett and Reri Grist) in the world of classical music and paved the way for future African-American opera and classical singers. Bumbry's voice was rich and sizable, possessing a wide range, and was capable of producing a very distinctive plangent tone."
Her advice to young singers is:
"To strive for excellence, that's the answer. If you strive for excellence, that means that you are determined. You will find a way to get to your goal, even if it means having to turn down some really great offers. You have to live with that, as you have to live with yourself."
Ms Bumbry was amazing as Carmen and check out Le Cid (one of her performances with the Opera Orchestra of New York)