At home with Amanda Ira Aldridge

Historian article

By Stephen Bourne, published 4th December 2020

Stephen Bourne examines the life of Amanda Ira Aldridge, the multi-talented singer, composer and voice teacher.

Amanda Ira Aldridge may have lived a quiet life but she was a trailblazer in the world of music. After a career as a concert singer, she became a composer in a male-dominated profession, for which she adopted a male pseudonym, Montague Ring. In her latter years she established herself as a highly respected voice teacher, especially among aspiring black actors and singers. In 1933 she was described by Archibald Haddon in The Era as: ‘a charming lady in her sixties; dark-eyed, olive-complexioned and with sparkling, silvery hair. She speaks the most beautiful English in deep contralto tones. So perfect is her enunciation’...

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