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Obit: Jessye Norman, great singer (1945-2019)

keberoxu 28 Oct 19 - 03:22 PM
Jack Campin 28 Oct 19 - 06:35 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Oct 19 - 09:23 PM
Stilly River Sage 28 Oct 19 - 10:38 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 29 Oct 19 - 10:40 AM
keberoxu 29 Oct 19 - 11:18 AM
keberoxu 29 Oct 19 - 11:35 AM
keberoxu 29 Oct 19 - 12:01 PM
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Subject: Obit: Jessye Norman, great singer 1945 - 2019
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 03:22 PM

I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to notice this news;
Ms. Norman died 30 September 2019.

Her prime days of singing had been over for years.
Her health problems had increased, however.
A very private person, she allowed very little of her troubles
to be reported by the press.

In the statement given by her family to mass media,
the year 2015 is cited as the year of a "spinal cord injury."
In fact, Jessye Norman sat for an interview with the Financial Times that year;
the journalist noted that Norman walked with a cane because of a "back problem."
In 2017 she canceled appearances, undergoing back surgery, followed by physical therapy.

That same year, she moved from the stately home in Westchester County that had previously been owned by "Candid Camera" 's Allen Funt,
and auction notices for the contents of the home notified the public of her relocation. The notice did not say where she was going.

The family statement explains that the injury sustained in 2015 led to complications, and the consequence was her death from septic shock and multi-organ failure,
which sounds like the stuff of an ordeal.

African-American singer Grace Ann Bumbry is still alive at 82,
and Bumbry preceded Norman in singing Wagnerian roles on the stage;
yet Norman made a big splash in Wagner early in her career,
and was especially noted for German lieder as well as German opera.

Jessye Norman's passing leaves a great void.
There is more I could say about Norman;
another post is needed for all the rest of it.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Jessye Norman, great singer (1945-2019)
From: Jack Campin
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 06:35 PM

Bumbry was a musician. Norman was a circus act. Singing with a louder, wider wobble than any singer in history is not much to be remembered by.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Jessye Norman, great singer (1945-2019)
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 09:23 PM

We heard her singing Strauss's Four Last Songs at the Festival Hall in the mid-70s. She was wonderful. I had a lovely album of her singing Negro Spirituals but the LP was somewhat overmodulated and was not a very easy listen. She was a customer at the restaurant in Bath (the Hole In The Wall), where she was served by my future missus in the late sixties. Ms Norman was not a small lady, and she got jammed in her chair, much to everyone's amusement, including hers. That restaurant was then in its heyday, a popular eating place for the in-crowd during the Bath Festivals. Mrs Steve also served Yehudi Menuhin and Michael Tippett. Fancy that!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Jessye Norman, great singer (1945-2019)
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Oct 19 - 10:38 PM

I heard her sing Amazing Grace right after 9/11. Not a dry eye in the place, it was amazing in its power.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Jessye Norman, great singer (1945-2019)
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 10:40 AM

Jack, it cannot be denied that
Jessye Norman was inconsistent.
She could be simply breathtakingly wonderful at her best.
And she could be uneven, uncoordinated, and plainly struggling.

She isn't the first, nor will she be the last,
to create a sensation
while having imbalances and imperfections.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Jessye Norman, great singer (1945-2019)
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 11:18 AM

Here is a deeply sympathetic reminiscence by an insider in the business.

former Metropolitan Opera performance manager, Fred Plotkin


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Subject: RE: Obit: Jessye Norman, great singer (1945-2019)
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 11:35 AM

... and a Los Angeles journalist/critic
who is forthright about the great artist's shortcomings.

Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times


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Subject: RE: Obit: Jessye Norman, great singer (1945-2019)
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Oct 19 - 12:01 PM

... and testimony that
Norman did not fear controversy in the music world.

What Jessye Norman remarked in a BBC interview


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