Dawson, Mary Cardwell, 1894-1962

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Opera director, concert singer, teacher, conductor and impresario, Dawson was the founder, president and general manager of the National Negro Opera Company. Formed in 1941 due to Dawson's concern regarding the lack of opportunity for Afro-Americans in opera because of racial discrimination, for over 20 years the Company presented such productions as Verdi's Aida and La Traviata, and C.C. White's Ouanga. Among the featured opera singers were Minto Cato, Lillian Evanti, Muriel Rahn, Edward Boatner and Robert Mc Ferrin. Ms. Dawson also founded the Cardwell School of Music and the prize winning Cardwell-Dawson Chorus. At the time of Dawson's death in 1962, her proteges were appearing in the great opera houses of the world.

From the guide to the Mary Cardwell Dawson papers, 1937-1984, (The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.)

Opera director, concert singer, teacher, conductor and impresario, Dawson was the founder, president and general manager of the National Negro Opera Company.

Formed in 1941 due to Dawson's concern regarding the lack of opportunity for Afro-Americans in opera because of racial discrimination. For over 20 years the Company presented such productions as Verdi's Aida and La Traviata, and C.C. White's Ouanga. Among the featured opera singers were Minto Cato, Lillian Evanti, Muriel Rahn, Edward Boatner and Robert Mc Ferrin. Ms. Dawson also founded the Cardwell School of Music and the prize winning Cardwell-Dawson Chorus. At the time of Dawson's death in 1962, her proteges were appearing in the great opera houses of the world.

From the description of Mary Cardwell Dawson papers, 1937-1984. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 122431017

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Mary Cardwell Dawson papers, 1937-1984 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
creatorOf National Negro Opera Company (U.S.). National Negro Opera Company collection, 1931-1989 (bulk 1941-1962). Library of Congress
referencedIn Dawson, Mary Cardwell, 1894-2001. Mary Cardwell Dawson Papers 1916-2001 [manuscript] Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Heinz History Center Detre Library and Archives
referencedIn National Negro Opera Company. National Negro Opera Company collection, 1940-1961. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf National Negro Opera Company. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, 1958. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn National Negro Opera Company. National Negro Opera Company collection, 1940-1961. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn National Negro Opera Company Collection, 1879-1997, (bulk 1930-1962) Library of Congress. Music Division
creatorOf Dawson, Mary Cardwell, 1894-1962. Mary Cardwell Dawson papers, 1937-1984. New York Public Library System, NYPL
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Dawson, Mary Cardwell, 1894-2001. person
associatedWith National Negro Opera Company. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
African American singers
Opera companies
Women singers
Opera--Biography
Opera producers and directors
Opera companies--United States
Women singers--United States
Opera producers and directors--United States
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1894

Death 1962

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