A Memorial for Jessye Norman at the Met Opera, Where She Reigned

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A Memorial for Jessye Norman at the Met Opera, Where She Reigned

Post by lennygoran » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:29 am

A Memorial for Jessye Norman at the Met Opera, Where She Reigned

By Michael Cooper

Nov. 6, 2019

When major figures in opera die, the Metropolitan Opera sometimes pays tribute to them with memorials at the opera house. Among those honored there over the years have been the composer Giacomo Puccini and the singers Enrico Caruso, Luciano Pavarotti and Beverly Sills.

Now the majestic soprano Jessye Norman is joining their select ranks.

A memorial for Ms. Norman, who died Sept. 30 at 74, will be held at the Met on Nov. 24, the company said. It will feature performances, remarks and video highlights of her career. It will be free, and open to invited guests and members of the public.

“This has grown exponentially as we have been putting it together, which is fitting for a bigger-than-life-artist such as Jessye Norman,” Peter Gelb, the Met’s general manager, said.

The memorial will be held on the stage where Ms. Norman made her Met debut as Cassandre in Berlioz’s “Les Troyens” in 1983 on opening night of the company’s centennial season, and where she went on to sing more than 80 performances.

In a tribute to Ms. Norman’s stature as a Wagnerian, the bass-baritone Eric Owens will sing Wotan’s farewell from “Die Walküre,” and the soprano Lise Davidsen will sing “Morgen” by Richard Strauss, a song that Ms. Norman memorably sang, and recorded.

J’Nai Bridges, Leah Hawkins and Latonia Moore are among the other Met artists expected to sing. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will perform part of “Revelations,” members of the Met’s regular chorus and the chorus engaged for this season’s “Porgy and Bess” will sing, and the pianists Mark Markham and Damien Sneed will play.

The speakers will include Ms. Norman’s relatives; the actress Anna Deavere Smith; the writer Gloria Steinem; Jack Lang, the former French minister of culture, who chose Ms. Norman to sing “La Marseillaise” in Paris in 1989 on the 200th anniversary of Bastille Day; Clive Gillinson, the executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall; Mr. Gelb; and Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, which is supporting the memorial.

Ms. Norman’s funeral was held last month in her native Augusta, Ga. It was part of a weekend packed with tributes, including some that had been planned before her death. (One was the renaming of a street for her and another was a benefit concert for the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, a free after-school program for underserved students, starring Audra McDonald.)

Reserved seats to her memorial at the Met will be available by calling the Met or visiting its box office after 10 a.m. on Saturday, Nov 9.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/06/arts ... orial.html

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