Met Opera Guild to Salute RisêŠ Stevens January 9

Classic Arts News   Met Opera Guild to Salute RisêŠ Stevens January 9
The Metropolitan Opera Guild and Opera News magazine will host a salute to mezzo-soprano RisêŠ Stevens on January 9 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater.

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 portions of an early television broadcast from the Met.

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 the television variety show Toast of the Town, 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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