Grace Bumbry, an opera singer from St. Louis, is considered one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation. She debuted in London in 1959, and with the Paris Opera the following year. In 1961, she was featured in Bayreuth, Germany’s Wagner Festival. The first African American to sing there, Bumbry was an international sensation and won the Wagner Medal. She is credited for paving the way for future African American opera and classical singers. Missouri History Museum