Portia White

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White in 1946

Portia May White (June 24, 1911 – February 13, 1968) was a Canadian contralto. She is known for becoming the first black Canadian concert singer to gain international fame. She trained at the Halifax Conservatory of Music. She also taught young musicians such as Lorne Greene, Dinah Christie, Don Francks, Robert Goulet and Anne Marie Moss. She performed a special command performance for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 1964. Her final public appearance was in Ottawa during July 1967.

White was born in Truro, Nova Scotia. Her mother was a descendant of Black Loyalists in Nova Scotia. Her father, William A. White, was the son of former slaves in Virginia.

On February 13, 1968, White died of breast cancer in Toronto, Ontario. She was 56.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. White, Jay (March 25, 2001). "A Nova Scotia phenomenon" (PDF). The Daily News. Retrieved June 12, 2020.