Soparno Kathleen Battle became one of the worlds most famous opera singers in the 1980’s. She was born in 1948 and was the daughter of a steelworker. Battle claims she learned to sing listening to her father who sang in a gospel quartet. No one in her family expected her to become one of the world’s most revered opera singers. Kathleen Battle received her Bachelors in music education from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. She taught music in Cincinnati public school in the 1960s until she received her professional break. In 1972 she landed an auction when Cincinnati Symphony musicians went on strike. Some say it was due to luck or a failure in the labor force, but Kathleen Battle’s talent was undeniable. Blown away by her audition, the conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony hired her as a soloist for the symphony’s engagement at the Festival di Due Monde in Spoleto, Italy, later that year. From there, her career skyrocketed. Thereafter She appeared at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Covent Garden in London, and La Scala in Milan and became one of the first African Americans to be viewed as a top-tier opera singer.
When Kathleen Battle was released from her contract with The Met fans around the world were shocked. She was described as an “unprofessional diva” by The Met. Battle claimed that her dismissal was unprovoked and that The Met never made her aware of her “unprofessional” behavior. Many fans attributed the her dismissal to Racism and were disappointed that the opera star would no longer be seen on an opera house stage. Though Battle never performed in an opera house again she continued to performed in recitals and was adore by audiences around the world