Jessye Norman, international opera star, dead at 74

International opera star Jessye Norman died Monday at the age of 74, according to her agent.The New York Metropolitan Opera described Norman as "one o...

Posted: Sep 30, 2019 10:48 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2019 4:30 AM

International opera star Jessye Norman died Monday at the age of 74, according to her agent.

The New York Metropolitan Opera described Norman as 'one of the great sopranos of the past half-century.'

'Norman sang more than 80 performances with the company, dazzling audiences with her beautiful tone, extraordinary power, and musical sensitivity,' the Met said in a statement.

Norman won four Grammy awards and a lifetime achievement award from the Recording Academy in 2006.

'Jessye Norman was one of the greatest artists to ever sing on our stage,' said Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb. 'Her legacy shall forever live on.'

A rich legacy

Norman was born on September 15, 1945, in Augusta, Georgia, according to the nonprofit research and education institution History Makers.

The Met, which extended condolences to Norman's family and friends, said she 'will perhaps be best remembered for her glorious, definitive portrayal of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos,' an opera she performed in 1993, according to History Makers.

In a 2014 video, Norman said she was 17 years old when she received a full-tuition scholarship to Howard University, where she graduated in 1967.

Norman then attended the University of Michigan on a teacher fellowship, graduating in 1968, History Makers says.

In 2002, Norman founded the Jessye Norman School of the Arts. The school's website says it's an 'after-school program designed to develop and nurture the artistic and creative talents of students.'

Norman said in the 2014 video that because of her full-ride to Howard and fellowship in Michigan, she understood what it meant to receive assistance, especially in the arts.

'I have had financial assistance throughout that period of my preparation for this profession, and so I understand the necessity of being of assistance and, when it is possible, to be of financial assistance,' she said.

The Jessye Norman School for the Arts said in a statement its faculty, staff and students 'are tremendously saddened' by their founder's death.

'As an opera superstar, she commanded the world's stages, but here in Augusta, she quietly used the arts to make a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of children each year. The world knew her voice and our school knew her kindness and generous heart. She challenged all of us to live up to our full potential and to represent something larger than ourselves. She will be greatly missed,' the statement read.

Musicians, celebrities react to Norman's death

Norman had a huge influence on many musicians and had many fans internationally, many of whom shared their condolences on social media.

Actress and singer Audra McDonald tweeted Norman was 'otherworldly.'

Singer and composer Rufus Wainwright tweeted 'the world has lost one of the greatest voices that we have ever had and heard. She poured herself out for us.'

Pianist and composer Jason Moran thanked Norman on Twitter for her voice.

'The phrases she sang charged the air. With deep appreciation,' Moran tweeted.

Musician Questlove said on Instagram: 'God Rest Your Soul Queen Jessye. #JessyeNorman.'

The Canadian Opera Company also tweeted that Norman's death was 'a great loss for the world of opera.'

'Thank you for sharing your incredible gift with all of us, Ms. Norman,' the company tweeted.

Huntsville/Redstone
Mostly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 55°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 57°
Huntsville/Madison
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 56°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 52°
Fort Payne
Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 44°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 488973

Reported Deaths: 9660
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson703321342
Mobile35725716
Madison32088437
Tuscaloosa23913404
Montgomery22369481
Shelby21714209
Baldwin19554263
Lee14827147
Morgan13529243
Etowah13091309
Calhoun13063281
Marshall11197202
Houston10019255
Limestone9303130
Elmore9283179
Cullman8856176
St. Clair8747214
Lauderdale8541209
DeKalb8419173
Talladega7424161
Walker6466240
Jackson6450101
Autauga614384
Blount6058125
Colbert5973118
Coffee522299
Dale4606106
Russell400530
Franklin396575
Covington3918105
Chilton380096
Escambia375970
Tallapoosa3533138
Clarke342348
Dallas3385139
Chambers3382102
Pike292471
Lawrence280685
Marion277492
Winston244563
Marengo243454
Bibb243259
Geneva238168
Pickens223453
Barbour208450
Hale208064
Fayette198755
Butler194865
Henry181741
Cherokee175737
Monroe165538
Randolph161240
Washington155832
Crenshaw143052
Clay142554
Macon140344
Cleburne136139
Lamar130632
Lowndes130148
Wilcox120525
Bullock116033
Conecuh106423
Perry104927
Sumter98231
Greene86732
Coosa86323
Choctaw54723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 767315

Reported Deaths: 11198
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby863831451
Davidson80598835
Knox45139569
Hamilton39899450
Rutherford37781371
Williamson24944202
Sumner21120312
Montgomery17171207
Out of TN1659390
Wilson16157208
Unassigned15617126
Sullivan14142273
Blount13905176
Bradley12699137
Washington12659231
Maury12124158
Sevier11870160
Putnam10525167
Madison10030225
Robertson8866117
Hamblen7936160
Anderson7874155
Greene7251144
Tipton688699
Coffee6254114
Gibson6166140
Dickson6118103
Cumberland6070117
Carter5922152
McMinn585589
Roane579995
Bedford5744117
Loudon561464
Jefferson5569116
Lawrence554080
Warren529475
Monroe524988
Dyer5221100
Hawkins517092
Franklin469983
Fayette463571
Obion435694
Rhea411272
Lincoln409861
Cocke395691
Marshall387754
Cheatham385143
Campbell377458
Weakley377459
Giles370495
Henderson360673
Carroll346580
Hardeman337563
Macon334873
White333765
Hardin329562
Lauderdale308842
Henry298274
Marion289144
Wayne286330
Scott284842
Overton283257
Claiborne271665
Haywood264159
McNairy264151
Hickman262339
DeKalb261547
Smith252236
Grainger240446
Trousdale237722
Fentress228244
Morgan228236
Johnson214337
Chester200446
Bledsoe197910
Crockett196746
Unicoi179047
Cannon173528
Polk173221
Union168030
Lake167326
Grundy165730
Sequatchie153627
Decatur153135
Humphreys151121
Benton149939
Lewis145724
Meigs125420
Jackson124633
Stewart123024
Clay106030
Perry102327
Houston102030
Moore93616
Van Buren79120
Pickett74623
Hancock49212

Community Events