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Music Library Thematic Displays: Jessye Norman Memorial

This guide showcases resources from the George F. DeVine Music Library centered on specific themes. Selected themes reflect UT School of Music events and programs, as well as cultural celebrations.

Jessye Norman Memorial Banner Art

Pictures of Jessye Norman

Jessye Norman Portait

Jessye Norman

Jessye Norman.. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 23 Sep. 2020, from https://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-8000923223.

Jessye Norman article cover

Pictures from Pan Pipes Periodical (Volume 112, No. 2, 2020)

Jessye Norman in title role of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos at the Met in 1993.


Image Citation: Carlyss, Ann Schein. "Memories of a Cherished Friendship." Pan Pipes 112, no.2 (Winter 2020): 10-11.

Jessye Norman singing in a concert

Pictures from Pan Pipes Periodical (Volume 112, No. 2, 2020)

Member Laureate Jessye Norman performing at a University of Michigan concert in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the 1990s.


Image Citation: Carlyss, Ann Schein. "Memories of a Cherished Friendship." Pan Pipes 112, no.2 (Winter 2020): 10-11.

Young Jessye Norman in 1965

Pictures from Pan Pipes Periodical (Volume 112, No. 2, 2020)

Jessye Norman at the 1965 SAI (Sigma Alpha Iota) National Convention in Minneapolis.


Image Citation: Carlyss, Ann Schein. "Memories of a Cherished Friendship." Pan Pipes 112, no.2 (Winter 2020): 10-11.

Headshot and prize photo from Jessye Norman's autobiography

Pictures from Her Autobiography

Top: The author at age thirteen.

Bottom: With other finalists of the Bavarian Radio International Music Competition, Munich, September 1968. I was honored to be awarded first prize.


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Jessye Norman, Barack Obama, and Ben Vereen

Pictures from Her Autobiography

Left: The front page of the The Augusta Chronicle, reporting that local philanthropist Peter Knox IV had donated the building that would house the Jessye Norman School of the Arts in Augusta, Georgia, my hometown. The Augusta Chronicle

Below: With President Barack Obama and Ben Vereen at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., 2009, for a concert commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Jessye Norman performing Selika

Pictures from Her Autobiography

Performing the role of Sélika in Giacomo Meyerbeer's opera L'Africaine at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, 1971. Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Aida at La Scala, Milan, 1972.

In the recording studio with British mezzo-soprano Dame Janet Baker.


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Jessye Norman as Phedre and a second photo woth pianist Dalton Baldwin

Pictures from Her Autobiography

As Phèdre in Jean-Philippe Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie at the Aix-en Provence Festival, 1982. Aix-en Provence Festival

With pianist Dalton Baldwin, a longtime collaborator.


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Jessye Norman as Cassandra, second photo with conductor Vladmir Spivakov, and third photo singning Dido

Pictures from Her Autobiography

As Cassandra in Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz, 1983, my Metropolitan Opera debut. The Metropolitan Archives

With conductor/violinist Vladimir Spivakov. The Metropolitan Archives

As Dido in Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell at the Opéra-Comique in Paris, 1984. Opéra-Comique de Paris


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Three photos Jessye Norman with Accompanist Phillip Moll, conductor Claudio Abbado, and conductor Seiji Ozawa

Pictures from Her Autobiography

With accompanist Phillip Moll, with whom I worked for many years.

With conductor Claudio Abbado at the Edinburgh Festival.

With conductor Seiji Ozawa during a recording session.


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Three photos. Jessye Norman as Elisabeth and Ariadne and a final photo with Yves Montand

Pictures from Her Autobiography

As Elisabeth in Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser at the Metropolitan Opera. Some years before, I had made my operatic debut in this role at Deutsche Oper Berlin. The Metropolitan Opera Archives

As Ariadne in Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos at the Metropolitan Opera. The Metropolitan Opera Archives.

With Yves Montand.


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Pictures from Jessye Norman's autobiography

At a dress fitting with Azzedine Alaïa and Jean-Paul Goude, for the bicentennial of the French Revolution.

As Judith in the Metropolitan Opera production of Bluebeard's Castle by Béla Bartók, with Samuel Ramey in the role of Bluebeard. The Metropolitan Opera Archives

As Alceste in Christoph Willibald Gluck's Alceste at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Lyric Opera of Chicago Archives


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Pictures from Her Autobiography

Being awarded the French Legion d'Honneur at the Palais Royale in Paris.

As Sieglinde in Wager's Die Walküre at the Metropolitan Opera, with Gary Lakes as Siegmund. The Metropolitan Opera Archives

As Kundry in the Metropolitan Opera production of Wagner's Parsifal, with Plácido Domindo in the title role. The Metropolitan Opera Archives


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Pictures from Her Autobiography

Shaking hands with Hillary Rodham Clinton at a White House state dinner for the Prime Minister of South Korea, November 1993. White House Photo Office

With Girl Scouts and students from LaGuardia High School for Take Our Daughters to Work Day at the Metropolitan Opera.


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Pictures from Her Autobiography

As Jocasta in Oedipus Rex by Igor Stravinsky, in a production by Julie Taymor in Matsumoto, Japan. Saito Kinen Festival

As Emilia Marty in the Metropolitan Opera's first-ever production of Leoš Janáček's The Makropulos Case. The Metropolitan Opera Archives

Performing Arnold Schoenberg's monodrama Erwantung at the Salzburg Festival, in a production by Robert Wilson.


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Pictures from Her Autobiography

With President Bill Clinton following his second inaugural address. White House Photo Office

Presentation of the Kennedy Center Honors at the White House with President Clinton, December 1997. White House Photo Office


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Pictures from Her Autobiography

With Anna Deveare Smith. Jenny Warburg

With Gloria Steinem and Sonia Sanchez. Jenny Warburg


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Pictures from Her Autobiography

With my present piano accompanist, Mark Markham, at a gala benefit for Robert Wilson's Watermill Center.

With flutist Alain Marion.

Performing in the Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol Building in July 2013 for the congressional commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington.


Image Citation: Norman, J. (2014). Stand up straight and sing! . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Online Materials from Alexander Street Press


 


Online Video Streaming

From Naxos Video Library


Jessye Norman Sings Carmen (Paris, 1988)

Conductor: Ozawa, Seiji
Orchestra: French National Orchestra
Chorus: French Radio and Television Chorus
Television Director: Maysles, Albert
Television Director: Schaer, Martin
Playing Time: 00:57:04
Catalogue Number: CM9310
Featuring Jessye Norman in an exclusive rehearsal of Bizet's Carmen at Radio France
Studio with Seiji Ozawa leading the French National Orchestra.

Online Materials from Gale Academic OneFile

From Gale Academic OneFile


Jessye Norman

Jessye Norman is probably the best classical crossover diva since Eileen Farrell. Spirituals, jazz, swing, blues, slow ballads--she manages all supremely well here, without any artifice. The material comes mostly from German concerts, and Norman wows the crowd the way Ella, Lena, the Duke, Thelonius Monk, and the other pop greats represented here did. She wisely avoids copying them. 'Stormy Weather', for example, is not a Lena Horne impersonation. It's Jessye Norman singing in her own sexy, sultry voice. She doesn't sound like an opera singer trying to do pop. The voices she uses and her feel for the musical idioms sound completely natural (as was the case with Farrell). The arrangements are excellent, and Carmen's 'Habanera' swing style is another highlight. The backup ensemble of piano, double bass, drums, trumpet, saxophone, and clarinet complements Norman very nicely and also does some fine work on instrumental tracks. Miss Norman's pretentious notes, which attempt to saddle the background of this music with historical significance, could have been toned down a bit.

Citation:

Mark. (2010, November-December). Jessye Norman. American Record Guide, 73(6), 278. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A241618037/AONE?u=tel_a_utl&sid=AONE&xid=049089c0


Jessye Norman was one of the greatest singers who ever lived.

Jessye Norman was one of the greatest singers who ever lived. She was a soprano, and a mezzo-soprano--both. She could also sing contralto. Her voice was one of the most beautiful, and interesting, anyone ever heard. She was a tremendously versatile singer. She sang virtually every type of song and opera role. The language, period, and style were no problem to her. Norman was born in 1945 in Augusta, Ga., where she grew up. She has now died in Manhattan. She will live on in the memories of the millions who heard her, and she will live on through recordings, too. Her lavish talents are a gift to the world at large.

Citation:

Jessye Norman was one of the greatest singers who ever lived. (2019, October 28). National Review, 71(19), 12. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A602462217/AONE?u=tel_a_utl&sid=AONE&xid=81bacabc

Obituary

Obituaries

"American soprano Jessye Norman, 74, died on September 30 at a hospital in Manhattan from multiple organ failure and septic shock. She had suffered a spinal-cord injury in 2015. Critic Tim Page once wrote, "Where Ms Norman was concerned, all of the cliches ring true: this gigantic woman (6'1") with the gigantic voice is one of a kind." Her repertoire ranged from Purcell to Poulenc; add jazz and Negro spirituals as well. She last sang at the Metropolitan Opera in 2002. She sang at the second inaugurations of both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2009 by Barack Obama. Many described her appearance as regal; she once said, "I do not consider my blackness a problem. I think it looks rather nice." Amen."


Citation:

Obituaries. (2020, January-February). American Record Guide, 83(1), 26+. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/A609584479/AONE?u=tel_a_utl&sid=AONE&xid=f19e860c

Biography

(b Augusta, GA, Sept 15, 1945; d New York, Sept 30, 2019). American soprano. She studied at Howard University, the Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Michigan (with, among others, Pierre Bernac and Elizabeth Mannion). She won the Munich International Music Competition in 1968 and made her operatic début in 1969 at the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, as Elisabeth (Tannhäuser), later appearing there as Countess Almaviva. Further engagements in Europe included Aïda at La Scala and Cassandra at Covent Garden, both in 1972. The following year she returned to Covent Garden as Elisabeth. For her American stage début she sang Jocasta in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex and Purcell’s Dido with the Opera Company of Philadelphia (1982); she appeared first at the Metropolitan Opera in 1983, once again as Cassandra. Other roles she sang include Gluck’s Alcestis, Strauss’s Ariadne, Madame Lidoine (Dialogues des Carmélites), the Woman (Erwartung), Emilia Marty (The Makropulos Affair), Bartók’s Judith, and Wagner’s Kundry and Sieglinde. 

Norman sang in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos (1993) in the 1990s, and she took part in numerous galas and benefit performances, including the ‘Tribute in Light’ memorial concert in New York City to honor those who died on 9/11. She continued her recital career, and expanded her repertoire to include Duke Ellington (Sacred Concerts at the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine, New York, 2009). 

Norman had a commanding stage presence; her particular distinction lay in her ability to project drama through her voice. Her opulent and dark-hued soprano was richly vibrant in the lower and middle registers, if less free at the top; although her extraordinary vocal resources were not always perfectly controlled, her singing revealed uncommon refinement of nuance and dynamic variety. Her operatic recordings include Countess Almaviva; Haydn’s Rosina (La vera costanza) and Armida, Leonore, Euryanthe; Verdi’s Giulietta (Un giorno di regno) and Medora (Il corsaro), Carmen, Ariadne, Salome; and Offenbach’s Giuletta and Helen. Norman also appeared in jazz concerts including, in 1982, her own show A Great Day in the Morning. As her many discs reveal, she was also a penetrating interpreter of lieder and melodies, at her finest in the broader canvases of Mahler, Richard Strauss (whose Vier letzte Lieder she recorded with distinction), and Debussy. 

Norman received a number of honorary doctorates (including Howard University and University of the South), the Kennedy Center Honors (1997), and the title of Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government (1984); she was made an Honorary Ambassador to the United Nations (1990). She was on the board of a number of organizations, including the New York Public Library and the Board of Trustees of Paine College in Augusta, Georgia.


Citation:

Bernheimer, M., Blyth, A., & Bryan, K.  (2020, June 30). Norman, Jessye. Grove Music Online. Retrieved 22 Sep. 2020, from https://www.oxfordmusiconline.com/grovemusic/view/10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.001.0001/omo-9781561592630-e-1002252060

Her Autobiography, "Stand Up Straight and Sing!"

Audio/Visual Materials in Our Collection

Audio Materials


Brava Jessye: The Very Best of Jessye Norman Album Art

Brava, Jessye! The Very Best of Jessye Norman
Call Number: ML1505 .N67 1996
Publisher: New York, NY - Philips


Vier Letzte Lieder: Four Last Songs, Jessye Norman Album Art

Richard Strauss; Vier Leizte Lieder; Four Last Songs
Call Number: M1620 .S912 P5
Publisher: W. Germany - Philips


Spirituals in Concert Album Art

Spirituals in Concert
Call Number: CD 17309
Publisher: Hamburg, Germany - Deutsche Grammophon -
New York - Marketed by PolyGram Classics & Jazz


Berlioz Les Nuits D'etet and Ravel Sheherazade, Jessye Norman and the London Symphony Orchestra Album Art

Berlioz; Les Nuits d'Été; Ravel; Shéhérazade
Call Number: M1617 .B4 N8 1980B
Publisher: Baarn, The Netherlands - Philips


Jessye Norman, In the Spirit: Sacred Music for Christmas Album Art

In the Spirit: Sacred Music for Christmas
Call Number: M2065 .N67 1996
Publisher: Germany - Philips


DVD Materials


Oedipus Rex Album Art

Stravinsky; Oedipus Rex
Call Number: M1500 .S895 O26 2005
Publisher: S.l. - Philips - Distributed by Universal Music and Video Distribution, Corp.


 

 

Ariadne auf Naxos Album Art

Richard Strauss; Ariadne auf Naxos
Call Number: M1500 .S87 A7 2002
Publisher: Hamburg - Deutsche Grammophon - New York
Distributed by Universal Music & Video Distribution Corp.

Periodicals in Our Collection