Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Voices That Have Gone, Part 11: Missing Lorraine

The deaths of Shirley Verrett and Joan Sutherland have made me think of opera's most scandalous recent loss, that of the great mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson four years ago to breast cancer at the age of fifty-two.  I've written about Lorraine here more than once, and I was outrageously fortunate to have had the opportunity to hear her live on several occasions (though I also bowed out of attending three different, now-legendary performances she gave in New York in the 1990s, for reasons that seem, in hindsight, incredibly foolish).  I found myself missing her today, and wondering what she would be singing, and how, if she had gone on living.  And, while it may seem strange to miss a public figure whom you've never met, LHL inspired fervent devotion among those who heard her.

The witty, catty operaphile who blogs as Opera Chic wrote a brief and moving tribute to Lorraine a few years back that says it better than I could.

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