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World-famous soprano Jessye Norman dies at 74

Posted October. 02, 2019 07:42,   

Updated October. 02, 2019 07:42


Majestic American soprano Jessye Norman died at the age of 74 at a New York hospital on Monday. She was widely loved by classical music fans for her excellence in interpretation and solemn and rich voice tone. It was reported that the cause of her death was complications from a spinal cord injury she sustained four years ago.

Norman was born in Augusta, Georgia, when racial segregation was in place. Her winning of the Munich International Music Competition in 1968 brought global attention to Norman. After she made a debut as Elisabeth in Wagner's opera “Tannhäuser” in Berlin next year, she rose to international stardom in the twinkle of an eye.

When Jessye Norman made her Metropolitan opera debut as Cassandra in Berlioz's “Les Troyens” in 1983, she was praised as one of the great sopranos of the past half-century. After then, she stood on the Met opera stage around 80 times. The New York Times commented on her 1992 recital, comparing her voice to “grand mansion of sound,” and reported that "it defines an extraordinary space. It opens onto unexpected vistas.”

Taek Kyoon Sohn sohn@donga.com