WHEELING, W.Va. – JoAnn Peterson of Kingwood will present a portrayal of opera singer Jenny Lind at West Virginia Independence Hall (WVIH) in Wheeling at 1 p.m. on Oct. 6, Lind’s birthday. The performance will be the Hall’s kick off to the 200th anniversary of the National Road coming through Wheeling and is free and open to the public.
Lind, known as the Swedish Nightingale, was born in 1820 and from humble beginnings became a world-renowned opera singer whom Felix Mendelssohn called “the most gifted artist of the century.” She inspired Hans Christian Andersen to pen “The Ugly Duckling” and "The Snow Queen," on which the movie "Frozen" was based. Known for her philanthropy and great faith, she contributed to anti-slavery, the blind, widows and others. She was the first woman memorialized at Westminster Abbey’s Poet’s Corner. Hear the true story about her American tour promoted by P.T. Barnum and her life and adventures. Her travels included a stop in Wheeling, where she sang at the Fourth Street Methodist Church.
In researching Lind, Peterson spent an afternoon in Brighton, England, with Lind’s great-great-granddaughter during which she held her traveling case and music. She has been to Lind’s birthplace in Stockholm, Sweden, and her grave in Malvern, England as well. Peterson also has done portrayals of Shirley Temple Black, Mary Todd Lincoln and Nellie Bly among others. She writes and directs murder mystery plays, is the owner of Mountaineer Country Tours and portrayed Julia Pierpont in the WV PBS documentary "West Virginia: Road to Statehood.”
For more information about programs at WVIH, contact Debbie Jones, site manager, at (304) 238-1300 or Deborah.J.Jones@wv.gov.