Today in History: Opera Singer, Madame Lillian Evanti Founds the National Negro Opera Company.
Lillian Evans Tibbs, professionally known as Madame Lillian Evanti, was a lyric soprano who received international approval. She was the first black woman to sing opera with an organized company in Europe.
Evanti made her professional debut in Nice in 1925, beginning a period of touring Europe intermixed with visits to her family in Washington, including a concert at the Lincoln Theatre. In 1934 she performed at the White House for President Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt.