Jessye Norman, the eminent soprano lauded for interpretations of art song and the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss, has died at 74.
Norman, born and reared in Augusta, GA, grew up singing in the black church. She was a graduate of Howard University and studied at the University of Michigan and Peabody Institute. Her career blossomed in Europe, and she lived there until resettling in the US in the 1990s. By the time she made her debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, as Casssandra in Berlioz’s “Les Troyens,” in 1983, she had been a mainstay at La Scala, Covent Garden and other European houses for more than a decade.
An obituary by The New York Times’ Daniel J. Wakin and Michael Cooper: