|Year of Birth:||1954|
|Year of Death:||2006|
Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (March 1, 1954 – July 3, 2006) was an American mezzo-soprano. She was noted for her performances of both Baroque era and contemporary works. Her career path to becoming a singer was unconventional – formerly a professional violist, Lieberson did not shift her full-time focus to singing until she was in her thirties.
One of four children, Lorraine Hunt's parents were both involved with opera in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her mother, Marcia, was a contralto and music teacher and her father, Randolph, taught music in high school and college. She performed as a child in Engelbert Humperdinck's Hänsel & Gretel, as a gingerbread boy. She returned to opera after doing a charity performance of the same work at a prison, this time taking Hänsel's role. After this performance, she auditioned for the Met, at age 29.
While rehearsing in his opera Ashoka's Dream at Santa Fe in 1997, she met composer Peter Lieberson and married him two years later, changing her name to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Peter Lieberson composed his song cycles Rilke Songs and Neruda Songs for his wife, both of which were issued in recordings.
Hunt Lieberson died from breast cancer on July 3, 2006, at the age of 52 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Only a few years previously, she had nursed her sister through her final illness with the same disease. Her husband, Peter, fell ill with cancer the following year, and died in April 2011.