Norman, JessyeVariant names
Opera singer Jessye Norman was born on September 15, 1945 in Augusta, Georgia to Janie King Norman and Silas Norman. She graduated from Augusta's Lucy C. Laney Senior High School. Following her participation in Philadelphia's Marian Anderson Vocal Competition in 1960, Norman received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Howard University, where she completed her B.M. degree in 1967. She then earned her M.M. degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1968.
After Norman won the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, Germany in 1969, Egon Seefehlner invited her to perform as Elisabeth inTannhauserwith Deutsche Oper Berlin. She signed a three-year contract with the opera company and, in 1970, she performed inDeborah, followed byL'AfricaineandLe nozze di Figaroat the Berlin Festival. In 1972, Norman sang Verdi'sAidaat La Scala in Milan. Norman continued to perform internationally as a soloist and recitalist. She returned to the stage, performing inOedipus rexandDido and Aeneaswith the Opera Company of Philadelphia in 1982. The following year, Norman performed at the Metropolitan Opera for its 100th anniversary season. Following a 1987 performance with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Norman was featured inErwartung, the Metropolitan Opera's first single-character production, andBluebeard's Castlein 1989. In 1990, she performed inTchaikovsky: 150th Birthday Gala from Leningradalong with Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman. Her first appearance with the Lyric Opera of Chicago was in the title role ofAlcestein 1990. She was cast as Jocasta in a televised production ofOedipus rexat the inaugural Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto in 1993, the same year she was featured inAriadne auf Naxosat the Metropolitan Opera, followed byThe Makropulos Casein 1996. In 1998, she performed at Carnegie Hall inSacred Ellington, featuring music by Duke Ellington, and released a jazz crossover project,I Was Born in Love with You, with Michel Legrand. In 2002, she established the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, a tuition-free, after school arts program in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia. In collaboration with New York City cultural institutions, Norman curatedHonor!: A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacyin 2009. With seventy-five recordings to her credit, in 2010, Norman releasedRoots: My Life, My Song.
A five-time Grammy Award winner, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Norman has received forty-five honorary doctorate degrees, is a Kennedy Center Honoree and holds the National Medal of the Arts. Graduate fellowships at the University of Michigan's School of Music have also been named in her honor. Norman serves as a spokesperson for The Partnership for the Homeless and was named an honorary ambassador to the United Nations. Additionally, she serves on the board of trustees of the New York Public Library, The New York Botanical Garden, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, Paine College and Carnegie Hall.
Norman passed away on September 30, 2019.
Jessye Norman was interviewed byThe HistoryMakerson November 21, 2016 and April 27, 2017.
|associatedWith||Fisher, M. F. K. (Mary Frances Kennedy), 1908-1992.||person|
|associatedWith||Lund, Jack H.||person|
|associatedWith||Ponselle, Rosa, 1897-1981||person|
|associatedWith||Slonimsky, Nicolas, 1894-1995||person|
|associatedWith||University of Michigan. News and Information Services.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||University of Michigan. University Musical Society.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Winigrad, Allen J.,||person|
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|New York (State)|
|New York (N.Y.)|