Crusader Staff Report
Soprano Jessye Norman, who for decades lit up New York’s esteemed Metropolitan Opera and houses around the world with her booming voice and versatility, died on Monday in New York, The New York Times reported. She was 74.
Her family said in a statement that Norman died of septic shock and multiple organ failure following complications of a spinal cord injury that she suffered in 2015.
Norman won four Grammy Awards for her recordings and a lifetime achievement award. In 2009, she was granted the National Medal of Arts.
The Metropolitan Opera released a statement in response to Norman’s death.
“The Met mourns the loss of Jessye Norman, one of the great sopranos of the past half-century. Starting with her Met debut as Cassandra in Berlioz’s Les Troyens on Opening Night of the Met’s centennial 1983–84 season, Norman sang more than 80 performances with the company, dazzling audiences with her beautiful tone, extraordinary power, and musical sensitivity. A revered Wagnerian, at the Met she was beloved for her interpretations of Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, Sieglinde in Die Walküre, and Kundry in Parsifal. Her wide-ranging Met repertoire also included works by Poulenc, Janáček, Bartók, and Schoenberg. She will perhaps be best remembered for her glorious, definitive portrayal of Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, pictured. “Jessye Norman was one of the greatest artists to ever sing on our stage,” said General Manager Peter Gelb. “Her legacy shall forever live on.” The Met extends condolences to Ms. Norman’s family and friends.”