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Isabella Hinckley (1840-1862)


Isabella Hinckley was one of the first Americans to win critical recognition as a serious operatic singer. Performing in a series of Italian operas staged in New York and Brooklyn in 1861 and 1862, Hinckley was acclaimed for her stirring renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Hail Columbia”—both of which had been patriotically inserted in the librettos. Hinckley often sang the part of the page in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, a role that President-elect Abraham Lincoln saw her perform at New York’s Academy of Music on February 20, 1861.


Mathew Brady Studio (active 18441883)
Albumen silver print
Frederick Hill Meserve Collection
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

 

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