Jessye Mae Norman was born September 15, 1945 in Augusta, Georgia. I find her to be most intriguing and thoroughly theatrical. She is the successor to many African-American female opera singers. Marion Anderson and Leontyne Price come to mind. Ms. Norman sings in a most glorious soprano that leaves you breathless. If you want to know more about her life then click the link.
She is a remarkable woman, activist and philanthropist. But I must say, she is drama to the INFINITE power! This woman’s facial expressions are just as dynamic and regal as her voice! I love how she layers the spiritual, soulfulness of beauty and pain when she performs. I don’t need to know what she’s saying to feel her power.
I saw a clip of Ms. Norman performing Ave Maria and that made me think of Beyoncè’s version. I just want to tell her (in my Judge Mathis voice) to “sit down ma’am and learn a few things from Jessye Norman.
She has since stopped performing in ensemble operas for more intimate recitals and concerts but I couldn’t resist posting this video of her in Julie Taymor’s version of the Oedipus Rex opera. She’s just so dynamic!