This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification . (January 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Marilyn Horne (born January 16, 1934) is an American mezzo-soprano opera singer. She specialized in roles requiring beauty of tone, excellent breath support, and the ability to execute difficult coloratura passages. She is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, the Kennedy Center Honors, and has won four Grammy Awards.
Horne was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania,but moved with her parents to Long Beach, California, when she was 11. At the age of 13, she became part of the newly formed Los Angeles Concert Youth Chorus. She is an alumna of Long Beach Polytechnic High School. As a high school student, Marilyn was part of the St. Luke's Episcopal Church Choir of Long Beach under the direction of William Ripley Dorr. The choir often worked for the movie studios and recorded with Capitol Records. Marilyn and her sister Gloria were part of the St. Luke's Episcopal Church Quartet. She won a scholarship for the University of Southern California where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority.
She studied voice under William Vennard and Gwendolyn Koldofskyat the University of Southern California School of Music and participated in Lotte Lehmann's vocal master classes at Music Academy of the West.
Horne's first major professional engagement was in 1954, when she dubbed the singing voice of Dorothy Dandridge in the film Carmen Jones .Until that point, she had worked as a background singer for several TV sitcoms, as well as recorded covers of popular songs of the early 1950s, which were sold in dimestores around the country for $1.98. She made an appearance on The Odd Couple as a character named "Jackie", her own nickname, a meek and nervous would-be singer who develops a crush on character Oscar Madison (Jack Klugman) and into a full-blown diva as well, playing the role of Carmen in Felix Unger's (Tony Randall) opera group production. She also sang on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson . She made her Los Angeles debut the same year when she performed the role of Hata in The Bartered Bride with the Los Angeles Guild Opera.
Her first major breakthrough came when her singing ability was recognized by Igor Stravinsky; her operatic career began when he invited her to perform in the 1956 Venice festival. She remained in Europe for three seasons singing for the Gelsenkirchen Opera.
She was highly acclaimed for her performance as Marie in Alban Berg's Wozzeck at the inauguration of Gelsenkirchen's new opera house on May 22, 1960. In 1964, she returned to the United States to appear in Wozzeck at the San Francisco Opera.
For many years, Horne was associated with the Australian soprano Dame Joan Sutherland in their performances of the bel canto repertoire.They first performed together in a concert version of Vincenzo Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda at The Town Hall in Manhattan in February 1961. This performance was so successful, it was repeated twice at Carnegie Hall. In 1965, they were paired again in a performance of Rossini's Semiramide with the Opera Company of Boston, and sang in a joint concert on October 15, 1979, which was telecast as "Live from Lincoln Center".
Horne made her debut at the Royal Opera House in October 1964 as Marie in Wozzeck .Her La Scala debut was as Jocasta in Stravinsky's opéra-oratorio Œdipus rex on March 13, 1969. Another of Horne's breakthroughs occurred that same year during a performance of Rossini's Le siège de Corinthe at La Scala, when Horne received a remarkable mid-act seven-minute ovation. Horne made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1970 as Adalgisa in Bellini's Norma with Sutherland in the title role. She thereafter appeared regularly at the Met, opening the 1972/1973 season as Carmen. A great success there was in Meyerbeer's Le prophète, in John Dexter's production. In 1984, she sang the title role of Handel's opera seria Rinaldo (directed by Frank Corsaro), the first Handel opera ever performed at the Met.
Although best known for her bel canto and opera seria roles, Horne also sang much American music, both contemporary music by composers such as William Bolcom, and traditional popular songs. She can be heard on the soundtrack of the 1961 film Flower Drum Song singing "Love, Look Away" and she sang the role of Lady Thiang on the Philips recording of The King and I starring Julie Andrews and Ben Kingsley. She had previously sung in the women's chorus for the 1956 film version of The King and I .
Horne was married from 1960 to 1979 (separated 1974) to the conductor Henry Lewis, with whom she maintained a home in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles for many years, and with whom she had a daughter, Angela. Horne's mother initially had misgivings that the interracial marriage would have a negative impact on Horne's career, saying, "Be his mistress, for God's sake, not his wife", but soon reconciled with the couple.
In 1983, she published (with co-writer Jane Scovell) a candid autobiography, My Life, and a continuation volume, Marilyn Horne, The Song Continues, appeared in 2004.
Horne received many honors during her career. A New York Times article by Robert Jacobson, editor of Opera News , in celebration of the Met's 100th anniversary in 1983, listed the hundred greatest singers who had ever performed at the house and included Horne, the only one still actively singing at the time. She was awarded Yale University's Sanford Medal.
On July 5, 1986, she performed on the New York Philharmonic's tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, which was televised live on ABC Television.The orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, performed in Central Park. She sang an aria from Carmen by Georges Bizet.
In January 1993, Horne sang "Make A Rainbow" by American singer and songwriter Portia Nelson, and the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton.
Horne retired from the concert stage in 1999 with a recital at the Chicago Symphony Center. She still occasionally performs at pop concerts (most recently with Broadway star Barbara Cook). Horne has also established the Marilyn Horne Foundation to help preserve the art of vocal recitals. She teaches a series of annual Master Classes at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music; the University of Maryland, College Park; the Manhattan School of Music; and the University of Oklahoma.
In December 2005, shortly before Horne's 72nd birthday, she was diagnosed with localized pancreatic cancer.In January 2007, she appeared at a public function for her Foundation. Interviewed by Norman Lebrecht on BBC Radio 3 on July 26, 2010, she spoke briefly about her cancer and cheerfully said, "I'm still here!"
From 1997 to 2018 Horne directed the Voice Program at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. Since 2018 she holds the position of Honorary Voice Program Director.She is scheduled to teach and remain the head of the jury for the Marilyn Horne Song Competition through 2020.
In 2013, Horne donated her personal archives to the University of Pittsburgh. Since May 6, 2017, a rotating portion of the collection is publicly displayed in the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center located at the regional campus in Bradford, from which she received an honorary degree in 2004.
Dame Joan Alston Sutherland, was an Australian coloratura soprano noted for her contribution to the renaissance of the bel canto repertoire from the late 1950s through to the 1980s.
Samuel Edward Ramey is an American operatic bass.
The Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo has been awarded since 1959. There have been several minor changes to the name of the award over this time:
Renée Lynn Fleming is an American soprano, known for performances in opera, concerts, recordings, theater, film, and at major public occasions. Fleming has a full lyric soprano voice. She has performed coloratura, lyric, and lighter spinto soprano operatic roles in Italian, German, French, Czech, and Russian, aside from her native English. Her signature roles include Countess Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, Violetta in Verdi's La traviata, the title role in Dvořák's Rusalka, the title role in Massenet's Manon, the title role in Massenet's Thaïs, Tatyana in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, the title role in Richard Strauss's Arabella, the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, the Countess in Capriccio, and Blanche DuBois in André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire.
Richard Alan Bonynge is an Australian conductor and pianist. He is the widower of Australian dramatic coloratura soprano Dame Joan Sutherland. Bonynge conducted virtually all of Sutherland's operatic performances from 1962 until her retirement in 1990.
Katia Ricciarelli is an Italian soprano.
June Anderson is a Grammy Award-winning American dramatic coloratura soprano. Originally known for bel canto performances of Rossini, Donizetti, and Vincenzo Bellini, she was the first non-Italian ever to win the prestigious Bellini d'Oro prize.
Cheryl Studer is an American dramatic soprano who has sung at many of the world's foremost opera houses. Studer has performed more than eighty roles ranging from the dramatic repertoire to roles more commonly associated with lyric sopranos and coloratura sopranos, and, in her late stage, mezzo-sopranos. She is particularly known for her interpretations of the works of Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner.
Henry Jay Lewis was an American double-bassist and orchestral conductor whose career extended over four decades. A child prodigy, he joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic at age 16, becoming the first African-American instrumentalist in a major symphony orchestra and, later, the first African-American symphony orchestra conductor in the United States. As musical director of the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra, he supported America's cultural diplomacy initiatives in Europe after World War II.
Margreta Elkins AM was an Australian mezzo-soprano. She sang at The Royal Opera and with Opera Australia and other companies, but turned down offers to sing at the Metropolitan Opera, Bayreuth and Glyndebourne. She recorded alongside sopranos such as Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland.
Spiro Samuel Malas was a Greek-American bass-baritone opera singer and actor.
Chris Merritt is an American tenor.
Karl Gustaf Ingvar Wixell, was a Swedish baritone who had an active international career in operas and concerts from 1955 to 2003. He mostly sang roles from the Italian repertory, and, according to The New York Times, "was best known for his steady-toned, riveting portrayals of the major baritone roles of Giuseppe Verdi — among them Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, Amonasro in Aida, and Germont in La traviata".
Ildebrando D'Arcangelo is an Italian opera singer. He has been called a bass-baritone, though he himself prefers the term basso cantabile.
Matteo Manuguerra was a Tunisian-born French baritone, one of the leading Verdi baritones of the 1970s.
Dano Raffanti is an Italian tenor, particularly associated with the Italian baroque and bel canto repertory.
Joyce DiDonato is an American lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano. She is notable for her interpretations of operas and concert works in the 19th-century romantic era in addition to works by Handel and Mozart.
Lauris Margaret Elms AM OBE is an Australian contralto, renowned in opera and lieder.
Christine Weidinger is an American operatic soprano who has had an active international career in operas and concerts since the early 1970s. Her career started at the Metropolitan Opera, after which she was active as a resident artist with opera houses in Germany during the late 1970s and 1980s. From the 1970s through the 1990s she worked as a guest artist with many leading opera houses throughout Europe, South America, and the United States.
Frank Lopardo is an American operatic tenor who was born in Brentwood, New York. He specialized in the repertoire of Mozart and Rossini early in his career and has since transitioned to the works of Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, and Bellini.
In 1969 Marilyn Horne made her debut at La Scala, again as Jocasta in Oedipus rex. She then sang Néocles in Rossini's Le siège du Corinthe with Beverly Sills, where she received an unprecedented seven-minute ovation in mid-act.