Obituary: Soprano Roberta Peters, 87

Posted on: January 20, 2017

On Thursday (1/19) at, Ira Siff writes that soprano Roberta Peters died on January 18 in Rye, New York. She was 87. “Peters’s overnight ascent to Met stardom at twenty combined with her uncommonly attractive face and form to suggest a sort of fairy-tale figure. But Peters’s early years were spent absorbed in arduous study…. This seriousness of purpose and artistic integrity … carried Peters through a five-decade career in which she racked up 512 Met performances of twenty-three roles during thirty-four seasons. Roberta Peterman was born in the Bronx on May 4, 1930, the only child of Sol, a shoe salesman, and Ruth, a milliner…. In November 1949, [tenor Jan] Peerce brought impresario Sol Hurok … to hear Peters in excerpts from Lucia and I Puritani…. Hurok signed her. In January 1950, Met conductor Max Rudolf asked to hear excerpts from Rigoletto … and the following week Peters sang the Queen of the Night’s second aria for incumbent general manager Rudolf Bing….  Bing signed her on July 20, 1950.… Her gorgeous voice and stunning looks guaranteed her a place on such programs as The Ed Sullivan Show, on which she appeared sixty-five times, a record for any opera singer.”

Posted January 20, 2017