Opera Singer Shirley Verrett Dies At 79

November 7th, 2010 - 8:13 pm ICT by GD  

By Gina Gomez
shirleyNov 7, (THAINDIAN NEWS) American Opera Singer Shirley Verett passed away in her sleep on Friday. The veteran Opera singer had been ill for several months and died from heart failure at her home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, her daughter Francesca LoMonaco announced the news to the media. She was 79-years-old.

Shirley Verrett was renowned for her performance as a mezzo in her early career and as a soprano singer in her later stages of her career. Her autobiography says that she experienced racial prejudice but she managed to make her own ground and shine in her career. Shirley Verett made her professional debut in 1957 and after a year she appeared as Irina in Weill’s “Lost in the Stars” at the New York City Opera. The media and the critics said that she has an “attractive” stage manner and personality with a beautiful voice. Her autobiography, “I Never Walked Alone” was published in 2003 and it received appreciation from its readers.

Shirley Verrett’s famous roles in her 40 years of career which earned him fame and recognition were Lady Macbeth in “Macbeth”, Danilla in “Samson et Dalila”, Floria Tosca in “Tosca”. She even won Tony award for her performance. She delivered six performances on “The Ed SullivanEd Sullivan Show”. Shirley Verrett’s friend and colleague, George Shirley expressed his condolences and said that she was one of America’s greatest opera singers and she had “tremendous” impact artistically as a person. He called Shirley Verrett an extension of Marian Anderson figure and said that she was gracious, dignified and possessed an outstanding voice and “interpretive sense”. Critic Alan Blyth said that Shirley Verrett’s voice is “richly burnished” and she used her skills with “utmost intelligence”.

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