Rudy Giuliani Joins Lineup for RisêŠ Stevens Tribute

Classic Arts News   Rudy Giuliani Joins Lineup for RisêŠ Stevens Tribute
 
Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani, an opera lover, will introduce the Metropolitan Opera Guild's tribute to mezzo-soprano RisêŠ Stevens at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater tonight.

The event, which starts at 7:30 p.m., will be hosted by pianist Van Cliburn and mezzo-soprano Jennifer Larmore. Also scheduled to appear are singers Barbara Cook, Denyce Graves, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Anna Moffo, and Patrice Munsel, as well as Stevens and her son, actor Nicolas Surovy.

The event will include rare film and television clips of Stevens in performance, including a segment from the Ed Sullivan Show with Stevens on roller skates; a dance duet with Ray Bolger; and excerpts from a televised 1952 Carmen at the Met with Richard Tucker and Robert Merrill.

Born in New York in 1913, Stevens trained at Juilliard and performed in Europe before debuting with the Met in 1938 as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier. Over the next 23 years, she performed at the Met 348 times in 15 different roles, including Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Dorabella in Don Giovanni, Delilah in Samson et Dalila, Laura in La Gioconda, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, and Carmen. She also appeared on the radio, on various variety shows, and in several films.

In 1961, Stevens helped to end a labor strike at the Met when she telegraphed president John F. Kennnedy and asked him to intervene.

After her retirement, Stevens served as director of the Met's National Company, president of Mannes College of Music, and director of the Met's National Council Auditions.

"RisêŠ Stevens: An American Beauty" will benefit the Metropolitan Guild's education programs. Tickets are $75 and are available at the Rose Theater box office or by calling 212-769-7009.


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