Allen, Betty, black American mezzo-soprano, teacher, and administrator; b. Campbell, Ohio, March 17, 1930. She attended Wilberforce Univ. (1944–46), the Hartford School of Music (1950–53), and the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood; among her mentors were Sarah Peck More, Zinka Milanov, and Paul Ulanowsky She made her N.Y.C. Opera debut as Queenie in Showboat (1954). She made her N.Y. recital debut in 1958. After making her U.S. operatic debut in San Francisco in 1966, she sang with other U.S. opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. (debut as Commère in Four Saints in Three Acts during the company’s visit to the Manhattan Forum, Feb. 20, 1973) and the N.Y.C. Opera (1973–75); also toured as a concert singer. She taught at the N.C. School of the Arts in Winston-Salem (1978–87), was executive director (1979–92) and president (1992) of the Harlem School of the Arts, and gave master classes at the Curtis Inst. of Music in Philadelphia (from 1987).
—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire