R.I.P 〓 Jessye Norman, American Soprano Singer


Global soprano singer Jessye Norman died on September 30 at a hospital in New York. She was 74 years old. She is one of the few black opera singers who has gained fame in the opera world. She has developed a wide range of activities in opera and concerts, and has fascinated the world with her massive and dramatic voice. In 2009, Norman was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest art award awarded by the US government. She has won numerous awards such as L’ordre national de la légion d’honneur in France.

Norman was born in Augusta, Georgia, grew up in a music lover’s home and sang gospel from the age of four. After graduating from high school, she received a scholarship to study vocal music at Howard University, and later studied at Peabody University, University of Michigan, and won the 1969 Munich ARD International Music Competition.

Shortly after that, she signed a three-year contract with Deutsche Oper Berlin and made her debut by singing that year’s “Tanhäuser” Elisabeth. Later, in 1972, she also debuted on Teatro alla Scala. Then she moved away from the opera for a while, but in 1983 she made her debut at the New York Metropolitan Opera, which celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Norman sang at the celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s sixtieth birthday in 1986, and sang “La Marseilles” in 1989 at the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution. She sang “Amazing Grace” at the opening ceremony of the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, and her singing voice also resonated at the opening ceremony of the Atlanta Olympics in her hometown of Georgia in 1996.

The national anthem of the US presidential inauguration was also responsible for the inauguration of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Received 4 Grammy Awards. She later won a lifetime performance award in 2006.

Photo:Rollins College / Scott Cook

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