Leontyne Price was an American icon in the second half of the 20th Century and made history as the first black performer in a leading role at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. A school trip to hear African-American singer Marian Anderson changed Price’s life and set her on a path to the stage. A lead role in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess brought her to national attention and by the end of the 1950s, Price’s star was rising around the world. In the decades that followed, she was particularly associated with Verdi, though her repertoire was wider, and Samuel Barber created a lead role for her in his Antony and Cleopatra. She continued performing lieder, though, after her retirement from the operatic stage in 1985; her debut on record, back in 1959, had been an appealing programme of French and German songs from the likes of Poulenc, Wolf and Strauss.