Metropolitan Opera to Hold Public Memorial for Late Jessye Norman

Classic Arts News   Metropolitan Opera to Hold Public Memorial for Late Jessye Norman
The renown soprano died September 30 at 74.
Jessye Norman in Strauss&#39; <i>Ariadne auf Naxos</i>
Jessye Norman in Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos Met Archives

The Metropolitan Opera will commemorate the legacy of Jessye Norman with a free, public memorial, to be held November 24 at the New York City venue.

The tribute celebration will feature video highlights of the late soprano's career, speeches by artistic leaders and Ms. Norman's family and colleagues, and performances by myriad Met artists.

Ms. Norman died September 30 at the age of 74. She made her Met debut in 1983 with Les Troyens, following an already extensive international career and a repertoire that spanned from Wagner to Mozart. Famously claiming "pigeonholing is only interesting to pigeons," the five-time Grammy winner frequently subverted genre expectations, weaving from Strauss lieder to African-American spirituals.

WATCH: 5 Unforgettable Performances From the Late, Never ‘Pigeonholed’ Jessye Norman

Among those slated to take part in the event are singers Eric Owens, Leah Hawkins, and Latonia Moore (all of whom have sung in this season's opening production of Porgy and Bess), the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, members of the Metropolitan Opera Chorus and the chorus of the company's Porgy and Bess, Gloria Steinem, playwright Anna Deavere Smith, Met General Manager Peter Gelb, and former French Minister of Culture Jack Lang, who selected Ms. Norman to sing "La Marseillaise" at the Bastille Day bicentennial in 1989 in a widely revered performance.

Admission is free and open to the public, with tickets available by phone or in-person November 9.

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