Hope you’re enjoying the sweet singing style of Ms. Jessye Norman.
Wiki: Jessye Mae Norman (born September 15, 1945) is an AmericanGrammy award-winning contemporary opera singer and recitalist, and is a successful performer of classical music. A dramatic soprano, Norman is associated in particular with the Wagnerian repertoire, and with the roles of Sieglinde, Ariadne, Alceste, and Leonore.
Early life and musical education
Norman was born in Augusta, Georgia, to Silas Norman, an insurance salesman, and Janie King-Norman, a school teacher. She was one of five children in a family of amateur musicians; her mother and grandmother were both pianists, her father a singer in a local choir. Norman’s mother insisted that she start piano lessons at an early age. Norman attended Charles T. Walker Elementary School, A.R. Johnson Junior High School, and Lucy C. Laney Senior High School, all in downtown Augusta.
Norman proved to be a talented singer as a young child, singing gospel songs at Mount Calvary Baptist Church at the age of four. At the age of nine, Norman heard opera for the first time on the radio and was immediately an opera fan. She started listening to recordings of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price whom Norman credits as being inspiring figures in her career. At the age of 16, Norman entered the Marian Anderson Vocal Competition in Philadelphia which, although she did not win, led to an offer of a full scholarship at Howard University, in Washington, D.C. While at Howard, Norman sang in the university chorus and as a professional soloist at the Lincoln Temple United Church of Christ, while studying voice with Carolyn Grant. In 1965, along with 32 other female students and 4 female faculty, she became a founding member of the Delta Nu Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota. In 1966, she won the National Society of Arts and Letters singing competition. After graduating in 1967 with a degree in music, she began graduate-level studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and later at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from which she earned a Masters Degree in 1968. During this time Norman studied voice with Elizabeth Mannion and Pierre Bernac.
On March 11, 2002, Norman performed “America the Beautiful” at a memorial service unveiling two monumental columns of light at the site of the former World Trade Center, as a memorial for the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City. In 2002 she returned to Augusta to announce that she would fund a pilot school of the arts for children in Richmond County. Classes commenced at St. John United Methodist Church in the fall of 2003. In November 2004, a documentary of Miss Norman’s life and work to date, was created. This film, directed by André Heller, with Othmar Schmiderer as director of photography and produced by DOR-Film of Vienna, chronicles the music, the social and political issues, the inspiration and dreams that have combined to make this singer unique in her profession. In 2006, Norman collaborated with the modern dance choreographer, Trey McIntyre, for a special performance during the summer at the Vail, Colorado Dance Festival.
Jessye Norman Academy of Achievement (Full Interview) 2012