1. Main
  2. Learn
  3. Life
  4. People

New York honors Jessye Norman, soprano who 'heals soul'

New York honors Jessye Norman, soprano who 'heals soul' New York honors Jessye Norman, soprano who 'heals soul'

 New York's opera community on Friday paid tribute to the legendary soprano Jessye Norman, with Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison calling her voice almost singular in its beauty, AFP reports.

The Metropolitan Opera Guild, which raises money to support the Met as well as music education programs, honored the 69-year-old Norman with an annual end-of-the-year luncheon that features performances by opera singers Latonia Moore, Dolora Zajick and Susan Platts.

Morrison, the author of novels such as "Song of Solomon" and "Beloved" that vividly explored the African American experience, described her excitement at first meeting Norman -- even though, Morrison said of herself, she was usually "unimpressed with practically everyone."

Morrison said that she first heard Norman's voice decades ago in the French Riviera town of Saint-Paul-de-Vence at the home of self-exiled American writer James Baldwin, whose assistant Bernard Hassell put on a recording to which they listened for hours.

"The beauty and power, the singularity of Jessye Norman's voice. I don't recall anything quite like it," Morrison said.

"I have to say that sometimes when I hear your voice, it breaks my heart. But all of the time, when I hear your voice, it healed my soul," she said.

Norman grew up in Augusta, Georgia, before winning a full-tuition scholarship to Howard University, the historically African American college in Washington.

She moved afterward to Europe and became one of the most acclaimed dramatic sopranos, known in particular for her interpretations of Wagner.

Norman has performed infrequently in the past few years and recently released a memoir, "Stand Up Straight and Sing!"


Nobel prizewinner proposes a new city in KZ
New abnormal snowfalls expected in Kazakhstan
Huge glacier retreat triggered in 1940s
Hyperloop construction begins in Las Vegas
"Moonlight" to top Spirit Awards nominations
Oil prices fall due to investors uncertainty
New dwarf galaxy discovered around Milky Way
Kanat Islam becomes a top ten WBO boxer
World oil prices continue to rise
Kazakhstan expects warming - Kazhydromet
Merkel to seek fourth term as chancellor
Sale of Tintin drawings set to break records
US, EU stocks fall as markets focus on dollar
Pacific leaders urged to defend free trade
EU warns eight nations on budget deficit
Universiade-2017: Athletic Village is ready
Bob Dylan can't make Nobel ceremony
Messi will never leave Barca - club president
Google, Facebook take aim at 'fake' news
Aerosmith announces Europe 'farewell' tour
Putin, Trump to normalise US-Russia ties
At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey blast
6.2 quake hits western Japan
OPEC agrees shock oil output cut
Israeli ex-president and Nobel laureate Peres dies
Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
32,000 arrested in Turkey coup probe
Youth to the fore as Milan fashion week opens
Xenophobia threatening peace in eastern Germany
Four-in-10 Japanese are virgins: poll
Sweden re-militarises Baltic island of Gotland
China to launch second space laboratory: Xinhua
More than a billion stars mapped in Milky Way: ESA
Boxing: Golovkin eyes Saunders after stopping Brook
Kazakhstan shifts PM to security chief
Oil prices gain despite rising OPEC supply forecast
US to give Philippines military planes
Singapore wages war on Zika-bearing mosquitoes
Italy quake death toll nears 250
Viral photos add fuel to French burkini debate
18 dead as Italy struck by powerful quake
Japan's first lady visits Pearl Harbor
Pokemon's a no-go on Bangkok's roads
July was Earth's hottest month in modern times
Pakistan rock climbers scale new heights