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Jesse Norman, an international opera star, dead at age 74



New York (AP) – Jesse Norman, the famous international opera star whose passionate soprano voice won four Grammys, the National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Honor Center, has died, according to spokesman Gwendolyn Quinn. She was 74.

A statement released to the Associated Press on Monday said that Norman died at 7:54 a.m. EDT of septic shock and multiorgan failure due to complications from spinal cord damage, which she received it in 2015. She died at Mount Sinai St. Hospital in New York and was surrounded by loved ones.

"We are so proud of Jesse's musical achievements and the inspiration that she has provided to audiences around the world that she will continue to be a source of joy. We are equally proud of her humanitarian endeavors that address issues such as hunger, homelessness, youth development and arts and culture education, ”the family statement said.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.

Norman was a tracking performer and one of the few black singers to achieve world-class grandeur in the opera world, performing at such venerable houses as La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera and singing lead roles in works such as Carmen, Aida, and others. . She sings Wagner's works but is not limited to opera or classical music, performing songs by Duke Ellington and others.

Norman was born on September 15, 1945 in Augusta, Georgia, during segregation. She grew up singing in church and around a musical family that included pianists and singers. She earned a scholarship to the historically black Howard College in Washington, DC to study music, and later studied at the Peabody Conservatory and the University of Michigan.

She eventually made her opera debut in 1969 in Berlin, waking audiences around the world of scenes in Milan, London and New York thanks to her brilliant vocals, regardless of language. The New York Times described her voice as "a large mansion of sound."

"Defines an extraordinary space. It is huge in size, reaching back and up. It opens to unexpected views. It contains rooms lit by the sun, narrow aisles, cavernous waterfalls, "writes Edward Rothstein.

In 1997, at the age of 52, Norman became the youngest person to win the Kennedy Honor Center in the organization's 20-year history. time. She received her National Arts Medal from former President Barack Obama and earned honorary doctorates from a number of prestigious schools, including Juliard, Harvard and Yale. She is a Fellow of the British Royal Academy of Music and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Norman even has an orchid named after her in France, and the country also made her commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.

She has earned 15 Grammy nominations over her illustrious career, taking her first appearance in the 1985 show for Best Classical Vocal Soloist for "Ravel: Songs Of Maurice Ravel." Achievement 'in 2006


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