In 1955, at the age of 58, Marian Anderson became the first African-American soloist to sing at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.

Singing the role of the sorceress Ulrica in Verdi‘s Un ballo en maschera, Anderson later said: “I was there onstage, mixing the witch’s brew. I trembled, and when the audience applauded and applauded before I could sing a note, I felt myself tightening into a knot.”

The performance received a huge ovation.

Source: NPR