Jessye Norman Bio, Wiki
Jessye Mae Norman was born on September 15th, 1945 and died on September 30th, 2019. He was an American opera singer and recitalist. A dramatic soprano, Norman is associated in particular with the Wagnerian repertoire, and with the roles of Sieglinde, Ariadne, Alceste, and Leonore. Norman has been inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and is a Spingarn Medalist. Apart from receiving several honorary doctorates and other awards, she also received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Medal of Arts, and was a member of the British Royal Academy of Music.
Jessye Norman Parents
Norman was born in Augusta, Georgia, and raised in a musical family. Her father is Silas Norman while her mother is Janie King-Norman. Norman’s mother and grandmother were pianists, her father a singer, and she grew up singing in church.
Jessye Norman Education
Norman was awarded a scholarship to Howard University in Washington, D.C. and studied voice there, progressing after graduation in 1967 to the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and the University of Michigan.
Jessye Norman Career
Norman made her operatic debut as Elisabeth in Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser in 1969 in Berlin and went on to multiple prominent roles, including the title role in “Aïda” in productions in Berlin and Milan, the role of Cassandra in Hector Berlioz’s “Les Troyens,” and at the Metropolitan Opera in Arnold Schoenberg’s “Erwartung,” among many others.
She performed the work of many composers throughout her career — including Schubert, Mahler, Wagner, Brahms, Satie, and others — and by the 1980s was widely recognized as one of the leading sopranos in the world.
According to Variety, In 2002, she performed “America the Beautiful” at a service unveiling two columns of light at the site of the former World Trade Center, honoring the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and the following year partnered with the Rachel Longstreet Foundation to open the Jessye Norman School of the Arts for economically disadvantaged students in her hometown of Augusta. In 2014, she published a memoir, “Stand Up Straight and Sing!”
The Jessye Norman School of the Arts
In 2003, the Rachel Longstreet Foundation and Norman partnered to open the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, a tuition-free performing arts after-school program for economically disadvantaged students in Augusta, Georgia. Norman is actively involved in the program, including fundraisers for its benefit.
Jessye Norman Memoir
On May 6th, 2014, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published Norman’s memoir, Stand Up Straight and Sing!
Jessye Norman Husband
Norman was not married neither did she have children. Speaking to the LA Times about forgoing children and a husband. “I know too well what it takes out of people being in this kind of job,” she says, speaking of the possibility of marriage, “and being separated puts a great strain on any kind of relationship.”
Jessye Norman Death & Cause
Jessye Norman died in New York on Monday morning September 30th, 2019 from septic shock and multi-organ failure secondary to complications of a spinal cord injury she had sustained in 2015, according to the statement.
“We are so proud of Jessye’s musical achievements and the inspiration that she provided to audiences around the world that will continue to be a source of joy,” a statement from her family reads. “We are equally proud of her humanitarian endeavors addressing matters such as hunger, homelessness, youth development, and arts and culture education.”
Farewell to the beloved Jessye Norman, a woman of vision, adventure and joy. A glorious voice and beautiful soul has winged towards Heaven. Her legacy lives on in music and the children who greet art in her name each day. May God grant her family peace in their time of sorrow. pic.twitter.com/LTxH3iS6e5
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) September 30, 2019
Rest in peace to the legendary Jessye Norman. The opera icon passed away at 74 years old. pic.twitter.com/VSSKsJHaKl
— Clay Cane (@claycane) September 30, 2019