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Old 09-30-2019, 04:40 PM
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R.I.P. Jessye Norman


The great soprano Jessye Norman has just died, shortly following her 74th birthday. She was one of the true greats of her generation.

I have no details of her passing.
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Old 09-30-2019, 04:49 PM
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Sad
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Old 09-30-2019, 06:45 PM
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When the Lyric Opera first installed a screen for subtitles, she was singing in an early opera. (I can't remember the name, but Hercules saves the day out of nowhere in it.)
Anyway, Ms Norman refused to allow subtitles for her lyrics. So the screen just sort of described what was going on as she sang like an electric libretto.

I don't mean to disrespect her at this tragic time. As I recall, a lot of opera fans at the time were wary of projected subtitles, like it might detract from the watching the performances or something. It didn't. Subtitles greatly enhance watching an opera, in my experience.
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Old 10-01-2019, 03:50 PM
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Sorry to hear that, RIP.

(My mom just turned 74 a few days ago; they were almost born on the same day!)
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Old 10-02-2019, 01:42 AM
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From the NY Times obit: "The cause was septic shock and multiple organ failure following complications of a spinal cord injury she suffered in 2015, according to a statement by her family."

I tired searching to find out more on the injury that happened in 2015 but came up empty.

And how times have changed--unlike 50 years ago, when 74 was a ripe old age, I'm thinking "she was just 74".
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:37 AM
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I still remember the first time I heard a recording of her doing the Christmas carol "O Come O come Emmanuel"; between verses, the orchestra and backing choir modulate an entire fifth higher; Jesse Norman comes in on top of that to sing the "Rejoice! Rejoice!" part and practically drowns out the whole ensemble, effortlessly.

Spectacular talent.
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Many Cats View Post
When the Lyric Opera first installed a screen for subtitles, she was singing in an early opera. (I can't remember the name, but Hercules saves the day out of nowhere in it.)
Anyway, Ms Norman refused to allow subtitles for her lyrics. So the screen just sort of described what was going on as she sang like an electric libretto.

I don't mean to disrespect her at this tragic time. As I recall, a lot of opera fans at the time were wary of projected subtitles, like it might detract from the watching the performances or something. It didn't. Subtitles greatly enhance watching an opera, in my experience.
I just read her Wikipedia entry, and the opera was "Alceste" by Gluck. It was the French version, which is different from the original Italian version in that Hercules shows up, because it was more exciting that way I guess.
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45
She was one of the true greats of her generation.
I completely agree. Sad that she is gone.

Some great performances to remember her by:

When I am Laid in Earth

The Holy City

Christmas Concert
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