Biography- Portia White

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Biography- Portia White

Portia White

Portia White, born on June 24, 1911, in Truro and died on Feburary 13, 1968 in Toronto. Raised in Halifax, she sang in the church choir as a child. She became a teacher and taught in the black communities. She took voice lessons and sang on radio brodcasts hosted by her father. Her first real performance was in New York where she reached the high point in her career. She won a scholarship at the Halifax Conservatory in 1939. In 1941, at age 30, Portia made her singing debut. Portia White was the first Black Canadian singer to win international renow. White's career was short, because she suffered vocal difficulties. She stopped singing and moved to Toronto in 1952 to teach voice lessons. After, she started to sing again occasionally and sang for Queen Elisabeth in Charlottetown, PEI, 1964.

There's only a few recordings of White's incredible voice. The Halifax Chronical called her "the singer that broke the colour barrier in Canadian classical music". There's a postage stamp in her honour, a monument at her birthplace and a film documentary about her.


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