Price, Leontyne

Price, Leontyne lāˈəntēn [key], 1927–, American soprano, b. Laurel, Miss., as Mary Violet Leontine Price. She studied voice at Juilliard with Florence Page Kimball. Subsequently she appeared as Bess in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess on Broadway (1952–54), repeating her performance in a highly successful international tour sponsored by the U.S. State Dept. She made her operatic debut on television in 1955, singing the title role in Tosca. In 1961 she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Leonora in Verdi's Il Trovatore. Five years later, in 1966, she created the role of Cleopatra in Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra, which opened the Metropolitan's new building at Lincoln Center. Price's voice is noted for its extraordinary range and power. She is particularly noted for her performances of the title roles in Verdi's Aïda and Puccini's Madame Butterfly.

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