Obituary: Soprano Shirley Verrett, 79

Posted on: November 8, 2010

In Saturday’s (11/6) New York Times, Anthony Tommasini writes, “Shirley Verrett, the vocally lustrous and dramatically compelling American opera singer who began as a mezzo-soprano and went on to sing soprano roles to international acclaim, died Friday morning at her home in Ann Arbor, Mich. She was 79. The cause was heart failure after several months of illness, said her daughter, Francesca LoMonaco. In her prime years Ms. Verrett was a remarkably complete and distinctive operatic artist. She had a plush, rich and powerful voice, thorough musicianship, insightful dramatic skills, charisma and beauty. … At her best, Ms. Verrett could sing with both mellow richness and chilling power. Her full-voiced top notes easily cut through the orchestral outbursts in Verdi’s ‘Aida.’ ”

Posted November 8, 2010