Jessye Norman

Jessye Norman (September 15, 1945 – September 30, 2019) was an American opera singer and recitalist.wikipedia
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ARD International Music Competition

ARD CompetitionARD (Munich)ARD International Piano Competition
Her career began in Europe, where she won the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in 1968, which led to a contract with the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Winning a prize at this ARD International Music Competition has been an enormous aid for internationally famous artists such as Jessye Norman, Sharon Isbin, Francisco Araiza, Natalia Gutman, Christoph Eschenbach, Anna Malikova, Nobuko Imai, Mitsuko Uchida, Thomas Quasthoff, Yuri Bashmet, Christian Tetzlaff, Sharon Kam, Heinz Holliger, Isabelle Moretti, Peter Sadlo, and Maurice André, to name just a few.

Les Troyens

The TrojansLes Troyens à CarthageCassandra
She famously stated that "pigeonholes are for pigeons” and that she was "attracted to the unusual". A towering figure on operatic, concert, and recital stages, she was associated with roles including Bartók's Judith, Beethoven's Leonore, Berlioz's Cassandre and Didon, Bizet's Carmen, Gluck's Alceste, Janáček's Emilia Marty, Mozart's Countess Almaviva, Poulenc's Madame Lidoine, Purcell's Dido, Strauss's Ariadne, Stravinsky's Jocasta, Verdi's Aida, and Wagner's Sieglinde, Kundry, and Elisabeth. The New York Times music critic Edward Rothstein described her voice as a "grand mansion of sound”, and wrote that “it has enormous dimensions, reaching backward and upward.
Les Troyens opened the Met centenary season in 1983 under James Levine with Plácido Domingo, Jessye Norman as Cassandre and Tatiana Troyanos as Didon.

Sigma Alpha Iota

Sigma Alpha Iota (ΣΑΙ)
In 1965, along with 33 other female students and four female faculty, she became a founding member of the Delta Nu chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.

Oedipus rex (opera)

Oedipus rexŒdipus RexJocasta
She famously stated that "pigeonholes are for pigeons” and that she was "attracted to the unusual". A towering figure on operatic, concert, and recital stages, she was associated with roles including Bartók's Judith, Beethoven's Leonore, Berlioz's Cassandre and Didon, Bizet's Carmen, Gluck's Alceste, Janáček's Emilia Marty, Mozart's Countess Almaviva, Poulenc's Madame Lidoine, Purcell's Dido, Strauss's Ariadne, Stravinsky's Jocasta, Verdi's Aida, and Wagner's Sieglinde, Kundry, and Elisabeth. The New York Times music critic Edward Rothstein described her voice as a "grand mansion of sound”, and wrote that “it has enormous dimensions, reaching backward and upward.
A production directed by Julie Taymor starring Philip Langridge, Jessye Norman, Min Tanaka, and Bryn Terfel was performed at the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto in Japan in 1992 and filmed by Taymor for television.

Alceste (Gluck)

AlcesteAlceste'' (Gluck)L'Alceste
She famously stated that "pigeonholes are for pigeons” and that she was "attracted to the unusual". A towering figure on operatic, concert, and recital stages, she was associated with roles including Bartók's Judith, Beethoven's Leonore, Berlioz's Cassandre and Didon, Bizet's Carmen, Gluck's Alceste, Janáček's Emilia Marty, Mozart's Countess Almaviva, Poulenc's Madame Lidoine, Purcell's Dido, Strauss's Ariadne, Stravinsky's Jocasta, Verdi's Aida, and Wagner's Sieglinde, Kundry, and Elisabeth. The New York Times music critic Edward Rothstein described her voice as a "grand mansion of sound”, and wrote that “it has enormous dimensions, reaching backward and upward.
Lyric Opera of Chicago opened its 1990 season with performances starring Jessye Norman, who had recorded the opera a few years earlier.

National Society of Arts and Letters

In 1966 she won the National Society of Arts and Letters singing competition.
During its history, the competitions organized by the NSAL have benefitted Oscar-winning actress and dancer Shirley MacLaine and international opera star Jessye Norman among others.

University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance

University of Michigan School of MusicSchool of Music, Theatre & DanceSchool of Music, Theatre and Dance
After graduating in 1967 with a degree in music, she began graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and later at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from which she earned a master's degree in 1968.
Well known alumni include playwright Arthur Miller, actors James Earl Jones, Gavin Creel, Darren Criss, David Alan Grier and Lucy Liu, musicians Jessye Norman, Yakov Kreizberg, Ashley Putnam, William Albright, George Crumb, Alexander Frey, Normand Lockwood, Cynthia Phelps, Colin Stetson, David Daniels, Chip Davis, and Michael Fabiano, as well as the pop star Madonna.

Kathleen Battle

Battle
Later in her career, she worked closely with vocal coach Sylvia Olden Lee at the Metropolitan Opera who was also a coach to Kathleen Battle and Marian Anderson. On June 28, 2001, she and light lyric coloratura soprano Kathleen Battle performed Mythodea by Vangelis at the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, Greece.
In 1990, Battle and Jessye Norman performed a program of spirituals at Carnegie Hall with James Levine conducting.

Ariadne auf Naxos

AriadneZerbinettaAriadne on Naxos
She famously stated that "pigeonholes are for pigeons” and that she was "attracted to the unusual". A towering figure on operatic, concert, and recital stages, she was associated with roles including Bartók's Judith, Beethoven's Leonore, Berlioz's Cassandre and Didon, Bizet's Carmen, Gluck's Alceste, Janáček's Emilia Marty, Mozart's Countess Almaviva, Poulenc's Madame Lidoine, Purcell's Dido, Strauss's Ariadne, Stravinsky's Jocasta, Verdi's Aida, and Wagner's Sieglinde, Kundry, and Elisabeth. The New York Times music critic Edward Rothstein described her voice as a "grand mansion of sound”, and wrote that “it has enormous dimensions, reaching backward and upward.
Interpreters of the role of Ariadne at the Met have included Jessye Norman (22 appearances from 1984 to 1993) and Deborah Voigt (17 appearances from 1993 to 2003).

Second inauguration of Bill Clinton

1997 inaugural of Bill Clinton1997 inaugurationClinton (1997)
She sang at the 1996 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Atlanta and for the second inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1997.
Jessye Norman, the famed Georgian opera singer, then serenaded the crowd with a medley of patriotic songs.

Metropolitan Opera

New York Metropolitan OperaMetropolitan Opera OrchestraThe Metropolitan Opera
She went on to sing leading roles with many other companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Paris Opera, and the Royal Opera, London.
During the 1983-84 season the Met celebrated its 100th anniversary with an opening night revival of Berlioz's mammoth opera Les Troyens, with soprano Jessye Norman making her Met debut in the roles of both Cassandra and Dido.

Dido and Aeneas

Dido and ÆneasDidoDido & Aeneas
She famously stated that "pigeonholes are for pigeons” and that she was "attracted to the unusual". A towering figure on operatic, concert, and recital stages, she was associated with roles including Bartók's Judith, Beethoven's Leonore, Berlioz's Cassandre and Didon, Bizet's Carmen, Gluck's Alceste, Janáček's Emilia Marty, Mozart's Countess Almaviva, Poulenc's Madame Lidoine, Purcell's Dido, Strauss's Ariadne, Stravinsky's Jocasta, Verdi's Aida, and Wagner's Sieglinde, Kundry, and Elisabeth. The New York Times music critic Edward Rothstein described her voice as a "grand mansion of sound”, and wrote that “it has enormous dimensions, reaching backward and upward.
In addition to Joan Hammond and Kirsten Flagstad, sopranos who have recorded the role include Victoria de los Ángeles (1965), Emma Kirkby (1981), Jessye Norman (1986), Catherine Bott (1992), Lynne Dawson (1998), and Evelyn Tubb (2004).

Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

Lifetime Achievement AwardLifetime AchievementLifetime Achievement Grammy
Apart from several honorary doctorates and other awards, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Medal of Arts, and was a member of the British Royal Academy of Music.

Mythodea

Mythodea: Music for the NASA Mission: 2001 Mars Odyssey
On June 28, 2001, she and light lyric coloratura soprano Kathleen Battle performed Mythodea by Vangelis at the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, Greece.
It was first recorded and then played live on-stage by: Vangelis on synthesizers and keyboards, the London Metropolitan Orchestra augmented by two harpists, sopranos Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman, the chorus of the Greek National Opera, and, for the concert only, the Seistron and Typana percussion ensembles.

Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo

Best Classical Vocal PerformanceBest Classical Vocal Soloist PerformanceBest Classical Solo Vocal Album
In 1984, she won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, the first of five Grammy Awards that she would collect during her career.
*Heather Harper, Jessye Norman & José van Dam, Pierre Boulez (conductor), the BBC Symphony Orchestra & the Ensemble Intercontemporain for Ravel: Songs of Maurice Ravel

Bluebeard's Castle

Duke Bluebeard's CastleBluebeard’s CastleBluebeard
She famously stated that "pigeonholes are for pigeons” and that she was "attracted to the unusual". A towering figure on operatic, concert, and recital stages, she was associated with roles including Bartók's Judith, Beethoven's Leonore, Berlioz's Cassandre and Didon, Bizet's Carmen, Gluck's Alceste, Janáček's Emilia Marty, Mozart's Countess Almaviva, Poulenc's Madame Lidoine, Purcell's Dido, Strauss's Ariadne, Stravinsky's Jocasta, Verdi's Aida, and Wagner's Sieglinde, Kundry, and Elisabeth. The New York Times music critic Edward Rothstein described her voice as a "grand mansion of sound”, and wrote that “it has enormous dimensions, reaching backward and upward.

Second inauguration of Ronald Reagan

19851985 inaugural of Ronald Reagan1985 presidential inauguration
She sang at the second inauguration of Ronald Reagan, at Queen Elizabeth II's 60th birthday celebration in 1986, and performed the La Marseillaise to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution on July 14, 1989.
Jessye Norman sang Simple Gifts from Aaron Copland's Old American Songs at the ceremony.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Interlochen Arts AcademyInterlochen Arts CampNational Music Camp
Norman studied at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Northern Michigan in the opera performance program.

Pierre Bernac

Bernac
During this time Norman studied voice with Elizabeth Mannion and Pierre Bernac.
His students include Gérard Souzay, Mattiwilda Dobbs, Elly Ameling, Jessye Norman, Bruno Laplante, Meinard Kraak, Bernard Kruysen, Margreet Honig, Michel Piquemal, Katherine Ciesinski, and Gerda Hartmann.

University of Michigan

MichiganUniversity of Michigan, Ann ArborUniversity of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Norman was trained at Howard University, the Peabody Institute, and the University of Michigan.
Musical graduates include operatic soprano Jessye Norman, singer Joe Dassin, jazz guitarist Randy Napoleon, and Mannheim Steamroller founder Chip Davis.

List of recipients of the National Medal of Arts

National Medal of ArtsNational Medal of the ArtsPresidential Medal for the Arts
Apart from several honorary doctorates and other awards, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Medal of Arts, and was a member of the British Royal Academy of Music.

Bill T. Jones

Bill T JonesBill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance CompanyBjorn Amelan
In 1999 Norman collaborated with choreographer-dancer Bill T. Jones in a project for New York City's Lincoln Center, called "How! Do! We! Do!"
His collaboration with Jessye Norman, ''How!

Marian Anderson

Marion AndersonMarian Anderson AwardMarian Anderson Singing Competition
She started listening to recordings of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price, both of whom Norman credited as inspiring figures in her career.
She was an example and an inspiration to both Leontyne Price and Jessye Norman.

Les Béatitudes

She remained internationally active as a recitalist and soloist in works such as Mendelssohn's Elijah and Franck's Les Béatitudes.

1996 Summer Olympics opening ceremony

opening ceremonyCentennial Olympic Games: Opening Ceremonies1996
She sang at the 1996 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Atlanta and for the second inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1997.
To close out the ceremony, Jessye Norman performed the song "Faster, Higher, Stronger."