Shirley Verrett dies at 79

Shirley Verrett sing Dido

It is such sad news to lose one of the great opera legends.  Shirley Verrett, mezzo soprano/dramatic soprano, died on Friday, November 5, 2010.   She was beloved for her vocal intensity and smouldering tone.  Her autobiography “I Never Walked Alone”, published in 2003, is a great book outlining the struggles and victories of a career in opera. 

The few times that I had the fortune of hearing her sing in person are precious memories.  I loved her recording of Orpheus and Euricide by Gluck, but it was her blending with Monserrat Caballe in recording that moved me most.  Truly, I wore this record out!  Her film of Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine is spectacular also. 

If you lack familiarity with this great artist, the internet is filled with details of her singing and life.  Her legacy is rich and will keep her fans comforted for as long as there is opera history.

About Ron Bowman

Ron Bowman holds a doctorate in vocal performance from Florida State University, and is currently the Vice President of Student Development at Hodges University in Naples, Florida. He has taught for over 28 years in higher education, and frequently performs in opera, concerts, and for the Naples Opera Society.
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