Music: Atlanta to La Scala

The house lights dimmed on La Scala's gilt and maroon, and the packed audience sat back to size up an unprecedented debutante: Coloratura Soprano Mattiwilda Dobbs, 27, of Atlanta, Ga., the first Negro ever to win a principal role at La Scala.

The curtain parted on Rossini's frisky operatic romp, An Italian Lady in Algiers, and the crowd saw Coloratura Dobbs, cast as the dusky charmer Elvira, in stage center, surrounded by sumptuously costumed Algerian nobles. Her part had no arias, but her bright, sure voice led sweetly and gracefully a series of swiftly...

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