Personalities | Jessye Norman | Modern Era | Opera

b. 1945, American

Boasting one of the most magnificent voices of her generation, Norman has received praise for her operatic, concert and recital performances. A scholarship student at Howard University at the age of 16, she then studied at the Peabody Institute and received her Masters Degree at the University of Michigan. Her 1969 operatic debut as Elisabeth in Wagner’s Tannhäuser for Deutsche Oper Berlin catapulted her into the international arena, yet her repertoire has remained eclectic. Some of her memorable performances include the title roles of Aida and Alceste, Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos, Cassandra and Didon (Les Troyens), Judith in Duke Bluebeard’s Castle and Schoenberg’s half-spoken, half-sung monodrama Erwartung.

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