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Lorraine Hunt Lieberson - JPop.com
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Lorraine Hunt Lieberson

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson


Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (March 1, 1954 – July 3, 2006) was a renowned American soprano then mezzo-soprano, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She began her musical career as a violist, and became principal viola with the San Jose Symphony. At age 26, she turned to studying voice seriously at the Boston Conservatory of Music. Her professional career as a singer began in 1984, and in 1985 made her operatic debut after meeting Peter Sellars and appearing in his 1985 production of Handel's Giulio Cesare. Read more on Last.fm
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (March 1, 1954 – July 3, 2006) was a renowned American soprano then mezzo-soprano, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She began her musical career as a violist, and became principal viola with the San Jose Symphony. At age 26, she turned to studying voice seriously at the Boston Conservatory of Music. Her professional career as a singer began in 1984, and in 1985 made her operatic debut after meeting Peter Sellars and appearing in his 1985 production of Handel's Giulio Cesare. Her debut performance at the Metropolitan Opera came during the 1999-2000 season, in eleven performances in the role of Myrtle Wilson in the world premiere of John Harbison's The Great Gatsby (first performance on December 20, 1999). During this same season, she also appeared as Sesto in the New York City Opera's production of La Clemenza di Tito, as well playing La Perelin in Kaija Saariaho's Clemence at the Salzburg Festival.

Her only other performance at the Met came in the 2001-2002 season in the role of Dido in Berlioz' Les Troyens, where she appeared in four performances in February, 2002. Prior to her death, she was scheduled to sing the role of Orfeo in a new production of Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. She was replaced by countertenor David Daniels, and the four performance run was dedicated to her memory. Among the roles she played during her career are Sesto (Mozart's La clemenza di Tito), Carmen (Bizet), Médée (Marc-Antoine Charpentier, with William Christie & Les Arts Florissants), Theodora and Irene (Handel's Theodora, "Theodora" at Göttingen with Nicholas McGegan, Irene at Glyndebourne with Christie), Minerva (Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria with René Jacobs) and Xerxes (Handel). She made a number of recordings, including works of Bach and Handel, as well as modern works. Critical opinions of her work, both in live performance and in recordings, have generally been high. Most reviewers make note of her beautiful tone and controlled style. In 2004, in the subtitle of a New Yorker article, Charles Michener called Lieberson "a mezzo with the most potent voice since Callas". Those who worked with Hunt Lieberson have spoken of her intense commitment to the detail of bringing a piece to life.

French vocal coach Denise Massé said in the same New Yorker magazine interview, “Lorraine is like Callas in her determination to dig as deeply as possible into the character—to find all the grain in the wood.” Her final public performances were given on March 16, 17, and 18, 2006, at Orchestra Hall in Chicago. She performed in Mahler's Symphony no. 2 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; Michael Tilson Thomas was the conductor and Celena Shafer was the soprano soloist. In 2007, she posthumously received the Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Performance for her Rilke Songs. Read more on Last.fm.

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