Norman, Jessye, 1945–, American soprano, b. Augusta, Ga. Making her early reputation in Europe, Norman won the Munich competition in 1968, debuted in Tannhäuser in 1969 with the Berlin Opera, and was a great success as Aïda at Milan's La Scala and London's Covent Garden in 1972. She made her American debut in 1982 as Jocasta in Oedipus Rex and her Metropolitan Opera debut the following year as Cassandra in Les Troyens. A majestic diva and extremely successful recording artist, she is praised for her enormous vocal power, tonal warmth, and clarity of diction. One of the most acclaimed musical artists of the late 20th cent., Norman commands a broad operatic repertoire and also frequently performs concerts of lieder, spirituals, oratorios, and a variety of other works.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.