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WXXI Classical 91.5 is in the process of building a resource of photos and brief biographical information about musicians of African descent. This resource is by no means complete, and we rely on you to help us build the site by sharing your information. Please click on the alphabetical groupings below to begin your discovery.

Mary Elizabeth Williams, soprano

  Mary Elizabeth Williams is a native of Philadelphia. Her career has taken her all over the globe in a careening zig-zag pattern—and she is grateful for every moment. Not long after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Luther College in Iowa, she began her first professional singing engagement with the national Broadway tour of SHOWBOAT, which toured 9 U.S. cities in 12 months. While performing in Milwaukee, she met Dr. Constance Haas, the voice teacher with whom she studies to this day. She began her operatic career after completing young artist contracts at both Seattle Opera and the Opéra National de Paris, quickly making a name for herself in spinto soprano repertoire like TOSCA, AIDA, and Leonora in IL TROVATORE. Since 2013, Mary Elizabeth has gradually added more demanding dramatic coloratura roles to her repertoire, and now is a sought-after interpreter of roles like Abigaille (NABUCCO), Lady Macbeth in MACBETH, and NORMA. She is a regular guest artist at Seattle Opera, Welsh National Opera, and Theater St. Gallen (Switzerland). In 2020, she will make house debuts in lead roles with Cincinnati Opera, Theater an der Wien, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She made her La Scala (Milano) debut to great acclaim in November 2016 with the role of Serena in PORGY AND BESS. She lives in Italy with her husband, tenor Lorenzo Decaro. 

More information can be found on her website