Leontyne Price Quotes

Leontyne Price (1927-)

Soprano Leontyne Price
Soprano Leontyne Price, 1981. Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

Leontyne Price debuted on Broadway in 1952 and at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in 1961. As an African American woman, Leontyne Price achieved many "firsts" in her musical career.

Selected Leontyne Price Quotations

• Accomplishments have no color.

• You must learn to say no when something is not right for you.

• If you're not feeling good about you, what you're wearing outside doesn't mean a thing.

• The way I was taught, being black was a plus, always. Being a human being, being in America, and being black, all three were the greatest things that could happen to you. The combination was unbeatable.

• The ultimate of being successful is the luxury of giving yourself the time to do what you want to do.

• I am here and you will know that I am the best and will hear me. The color of my skin or the kink of my hair or the spread of my mouth has nothing to do with what you are listening to.

• If you are going to think black, think positive about it. Don't think down on it, or think it is something in your way. And this way,when you really do want to stretch out, and express how beautiful black is, everybody will hear you.

• I am here and you will know that I am the best and will hear me.

• For a long time the only time I felt beautiful -- in the sense of being complete as a woman, as a human being -- was when I was singing.

• Art is the only thing you cannot punch a button for. You must do it the old-fashioned way. Stay up and really burn the midnight oil. There are no compromises.

• Once you get on stage, everything is right. I feel the most beautiful, complete, fulfilled. I think that's why, in the case of noncompromising career women, parts of our personal lives don't work out.

One person can't give you the feeling that thousands of people give you.

About her debut at the Met: It was the first operatic mountain I climbed, and the view from it was astounding, exhilarating, stupefying.

On performing in the new Metropolitan Opera House: The ghosts from the old house -- Caruso, Flagstad -- all those folks -- have moved uptown, too. When I'd look up at the gold ceiling, there they'd be, swingin' around, saying to me, "Lee, you mess it up and we'll take care of you!"

• I prefer to leave standing up, like a well-mannered guest at a party. on her 1985 retirement from opera

• We should not have a tin cup out for something as important as the arts in this country, the richest in the world. Creative artists are always begging, but always being used when it's time to show us at our best.

Related Resources for Leontyne Price

More Women's Quotes:


Explore Women's Voices and Women's History

About These Quotes

Quote collection assembled by Jone Johnson Lewis. Each quotation page in this collection and the entire collection © Jone Johnson Lewis.

This is an informal collection assembled over many years. I regret that I am not be able to provide the original source if it is not listed with the quote.

Citation information:
Jone Johnson Lewis. "Leontyne Price Quotes." About Women's History. URL: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/quotes/a/leontyne_price.htm . Date accessed: (today). (More on how to cite online sources including this page)