Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate

“The immensity of her voice struck like a thunderbolt... It was like an eruption of primal power.” (Jerusalem Post)

"...a huge, dark, rich, glorious voice that can roar like thunder one moment and whisper like a zephyr the next. It is a voice of many colours, many facets, many inclinations.” - Martin Bernheimer (LA Times, 1992)

The black armbands have been dusted off again, with the sad news of the death of one of the world's greatest ever operatic sopranos, the glorious Jessye Norman.

There are few words to express our feeling of loss. Let us instead wallow in all her magnificence:

And finally, I make no excuses for playing this again - one of my favourite videos, ever:


  • Miss Norman made her debut in 1968 as Elisabeth in Wagner's Tannhäuser in Berlin, and from that point she was in demand all over Europe throughout the 70s - with leading roles in Covent Garden in London, La Scala Milan, Maggio Musicale in Florence and more - yet did not star in an operatic production in her native USA until 1982.
  • She studied the languages of the music she sang, and was acclaimed for her performances of Mussorgsky songs in the original Russian, the German Romantic lieder repertoire, and French music from Berlioz to more modern composers.
  • Anmong her many honorary doctorates and awards, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, National Medal of Arts, Kennedy Center Honor, Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal, the French Légion d'honneur, and was a member of the British Royal Academy of Music.

RIP Jessye Mae Norman (15th September 1945 - 30th September 2019)


Please leave a message - I value your comments!