Barbara McAlister (opera singer)

Barbara McAlister (born 1942) is an internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Native American opera singer from Muskogee, Oklahoma.


Barbara McAlister was born Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1942.[1] She is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, a descendant of Old Tassel, and half German/Cherokee through her mother. She aspired to be a country-western singer in her youth, but learned to love opera from her parents.[1]

For her dedication to promoting the Cherokee language, she was awarded the Cherokee Medal of Honor from the Cherokee Honor Society.[2]

Musical career

She won the Loren Zachary Competition in Los Angeles, California, which launched her career.[3] She has since performed in the opera houses of Passau, Koblenz, Bremerhaven, and most notably Flensburg, where she was engaged for a decade. She has given solo performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Weil Recital Hall, and has performed with companies throughout Europe and the United States.[3]

Visual arts

Barbara also paints in the Bacone style of flat-style Native painting from Prairie, Plains, and Eastern tribes.[4] She has exhibited her paintings at the Five Civilized Tribes Museum and Jacobson House Native Arts Center in Oklahoma, the Wharton Art Gallery in Philadelphia, and Bullock's in Los Angeles.[3]


  1. Conley, Robert J. A Cherokee encyclopedia. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007: 147-8. (retrieved through Google Books, 7 April 2009) ISBN 978-0-8263-3951-5.
  2. Duvall, Deborah L. Tahlequah and the Cherokee Nation. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2000: 112. ISBN 0-7385-0782-2.
  3. Resume. Barbara McAlister. (retrieved 7 April 2009)
  4. Williams, John L. "Bacone College." Archived April 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Oklahoma History Center's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. (retrieved 6 Nov 2009)
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.