Jessye Norman

Jessye Norman was an American opera singer and recitalist. She was able to perform dramatic soprano roles, but refused to be limited to that voice type.

Jessye Norman was an American opera singer and recitalist who has brought a great change in opera singing for a very long time. Norman was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1999 and also had received the “Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award” and the “National Medal of Arts”. Besides, Norman was a member of the British Royal Academy of Music and also was a Spingarn Medalist. Norman died on September 30, 2019, due to complications from her 2015 spinal cord injury.

What was Jessye Norman Famous for?

  •  Famous as the Spingarn Medalist opera singer.


When and Where was Jessye Norman Born?

Jessye Norman was born on September 15, 1945, in Augusta, Georgia, United States. Her birth name was Jessye Mae Norman. Her nationality was American. Norman belonged to African-American ethnicity while Virgo as her zodiac sign.

Jessye Norman was the daughter of Silas Norman(father) and Janie King-Norman(mother). Her father was an insurance salesman while her mother was a schoolteacher. Norman belonged to a family of amateur musicians as her mother and grandmother were both pianists, while her father used to sing in a local choir.

Jessye was raised along with her four siblings. She started singing songs when she was just a toddler as when she was just 4, she sang gospel song at Mount Calvary Baptist Church.

Jessye grew up in her hometown, where she attended Charles T. Walker Elementary School then she joined the A.R. Johnson Junior High School and lastly the Lucy C. Laney Senior High School. Norman studied at the “Interlochen Center for the Arts” in the opera performance program.

When she was just 16, she joined the Marian Anderson Vocal Competition in Philadelphia. Norman then attended Howard University, in Washington, with a full scholarship and graduated with a degree in music in 1967.

Norman also sang as a professional soloist at the Lincoln Temple United Church of Christ. Later in the year 1968, Norman earned a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan School of Music also studied at the Peabody Conservatory.

Later she earned honorary doctorates from numerous elite schools including Julliard, Harvard, and Yale. Norman even studied voice with Elizabeth Mannion and Pierre Bernac.


When Did Jessye Norman Start Her Professional Career?

  • Jessye Norman started her professional career after she signed a three-year contract with the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
  • Norman made her first operatic debut as Elisabeth in “Tannhauser” at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 1969.
  • Norman was even said as having the greatest voice since the German soprano Lotte Lehmann.
  • In 1970, Norman made her Italian debut in Handel’s “Deborah”, in Florence.
  • Later in 1971, Norman made her debut at the Maggio Musicale and also sang the role of Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro”.
  • In 1972, Norman debuted at La Scala singing Verdi’s Aida and at London’s Royal Opera.
  • Norman remained internationally active as a recitalist and soloist for the next five years till 1977.
  • In 1982, Norman made her United States operatic debut as Jocasta in Stravinsky’s “Oedipus rex”, and as Dido in Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas”.
  • Norman appeared as a soloist in Strauss’s “Four Last Songs” and also sang at Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th birthday celebration in 1986.
  • Norman is also known for her performances of Arnold Schoenberg’s “Gurre-Lieder”.
  • In 1990, Norman made her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in the title role of Gluck’s “Alceste”.
  • Norman sang several operas including “Jocasta”(1992) and again was featured as a soloist with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1995.
  • Norman also performed “Faster, Higher, Stronger” at the 1996 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Atlanta.
  • In 1999, Norman collaborated with Bill T. Jones, a choreographer, and dancer in a project called “How! Do! We! Do!”.
  • In 2000, Norman released an album, “I Was Born in Love with You”, featuring the songs of Michel Legrand.
  • Norman performed at the opening of Singapore’s “Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay”(2002) and Mythodea alongside Kathleen Battle in 2001.
  • On March 11, 2002, Norman performed “America the Beautiful” as a memorial for the victims of September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City.
  • In 2006, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • In March 2009, Norman curated a celebration of the African-American cultural legacy, “Honor!”.
  • Norman also served on the Board of Trustees of Paine College and the Augusta Opera Association.
  • Norman recorded over 75 records in her lifetime, and in 2010, she received the National Medal of the Arts from President Barack Obama.
  • Norman was featured in “Ask Your Mama” by the Apolo Theatre in March 2013.
  • In March 2014, Norman was featured at the “Green Music Center Weill Hall”.
  • Norman was honored as the 12th recipient of the “Glenn Gould Prize” for her contribution to opera and arts in April 2018.

Source: @cnn.comJessye Norman

Was Jessye Norman Married?

The greatest opera singer of 74, Jessye Norman wasn’t married yet. Norman didn’t get married till she was alive she had no children as well.

What is Jessye Norman’s Cause of Death?

The great American opera singer, Jessye Norman died on Tuesday, September 30, 2019, at the age of 74, at Mount Sinai St.Luke’s Hospital in Manhattan from multiple organ failure and septic shock, due to complications from the spinal cord injury. Norman suffered from a spinal cord injury back in 2015. After four years of the injury, Norman bade goodbye to the world leaving all of his good deeds alive.

Was Jessye Norman A Millionaire?

Jessye Norman had a great earning through her career as an opera singer recitalist. Keeping all of her works and achievements in considerations, she had managed to amass a great fortune of the amount in million dollars. Norman had an estimated net worth of around $3 million until she died.

With all the fortunes in a million dollars, she had managed to live a luxurious lifestyle.

How Did Jessye Norman Look Life?

Jessye Norman was a very beautiful lady who had brought a great change in society through her good deeds and achievements. Norman was a black beauty with black hair and black eyes. Norman had a great height of 6ft. 1inch.(1.85 m).

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