Amanda Ira Aldridge

Modern Period

Born in England

Amanda Ira Aldridge was a British opera singer and composer. Her father was Ira Frederick Aldridge, an African American Shakespearean actor. She won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Music in London and worked as a concert singer, piano accompanist and voice teacher. Aldridge became famous singing throughout Europe until laryngitis ended her career. She then turned her attention to composing, especially art songs using the poetry of African American poets for lyrics, and teaching. Her students included famous African-American concert singers and composers Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson, Lawrence Benjamin Brown and Roland Hayes.