Shirley Verrett

Singer details:

Voice: Mezzo
Nationality: American
Year of Birth: 1931
Year of Death: 2010

About Shirley Verrett:

Shirley Verrett (May 31, 1931 – November 5, 2010) was an African-American operatic mezzo-soprano who successfully transitioned into soprano roles, i.e. soprano sfogato. Verrett enjoyed great fame from the late 1960s through the 1990s, particularly well known for singing the works of Verdi and Donizetti.

Born into an African-American family of devout Seventh-day Adventists in New Orleans, Louisiana, Verrett was raised in Los Angeles, California. She sang in church and showed early musical abilities, but initially a singing career was frowned upon by her family. Later Verrett went on to study with Anna Fitziu and with Marion Szekely Freschl at the Juilliard School in New York. In 1961 she won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

In 1957, Verrett made her operatic debut in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia. In 1958, she made her New York City Opera debut as Irina in Kurt Weill's Lost in the Stars. In 1959, she made her European debut in Cologne, Germany in Dmitri Nabokov's Rasputins Tod. In 1962, she received critical acclaim for her Carmen in Spoleto, and repeated the role at the Bolshoi Theatre in 1963, and at the NY City Opera in 1964 (opposite Richard Cassilly and Norman Treigle). Verrett first appeared at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1966 as Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera.

She appeared in the first concert ever televised from Lincoln Center in 1962, and also appeared that year in the first of the Leonard Bernstein Young People's Concerts ever televised from that venue, in what is now Avery Fisher Hall.

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Popular videos featuring Shirley Verrett:

More Arias, Duets and Ensembles performed by Shirley Verrett

170 Results
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Nr.Title scenePopularityOperaComposerActTypeVoicesLang.Roles
1Belle nuit (Barcarolle) Popularity:

Opera: Contes d'Hoffmann, LesComposer: OffenbachAct: 2

Type: duetVoice: S MzLanguage: French

Roles: Giulietta/Nicklausse
2Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix Popularity:

Opera: Samson et DalilaComposer: Saint-SaënsAct: 2

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: French

Roles: Dalila
3When I am laid in earth (Dido's Lament) Popularity:

Opera: Dido and AeneasComposer: PurcellAct: 3.10

Type: ariaVoice: mezzo or sopranoLanguage: English

Roles: Dido
4Pres des remparts de Seville (Seguidilla) Popularity:

Opera: CarmenComposer: BizetAct: 1.12

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: French

Roles: Carmen/José
5Les tringles des sistres tintaient (Gypsy Song) Popularity:

Opera: CarmenComposer: BizetAct: 2.02

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: French

Roles: Carmen/Frasquita/Mercédès
6Pace pace mio Dio Popularity:

Opera: Forza del destino, LaComposer: VerdiAct: 4.05

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Leonora
7O patria mia Popularity:

Opera: AidaComposer: VerdiAct: 3.03-2

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Aida
8Mira o Norma Popularity:

Opera: NormaComposer: BelliniAct: 2.05-1

Type: duetVoice: S S/MzLanguage: Italian

Roles: Norma/Adalgisa
9Stride la vampa Popularity:

Opera: Trovatore, IlComposer: VerdiAct: 2.02

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Azucena
10Vieni t'affretta Popularity:

Opera: MacbethComposer: VerdiAct: 1.06

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Lady McB
11Ernani involami Popularity:

Opera: ErnaniComposer: VerdiAct: 1.06

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Elvira
12D'amour l'ardente flamme Popularity:

Opera: Damnation de Faust, LaComposer: BerliozAct: 4

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: French

Roles: Marguerite
13Adieu notre petite table Popularity:

Opera: ManonComposer: MassenetAct: 2.10-1

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: French

Roles: Manon
14O mio Fernando Popularity:

Opera: Favorita, LaComposer: DonizettiAct: 3.05

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Léonor
15Dio che mi vedi in core Popularity:

Opera: Anna BolenaComposer: DonizettiAct: 2.02

Type: recitativeVoice: S MzLanguage: Italian

Roles: Anna/Giovanna
16Parle-moi de ma mere Popularity:

Opera: CarmenComposer: BizetAct: 1.09

Type: duetVoice: T SLanguage: French

Roles: José/Micaëla
17Teco io sto Popularity:

Opera: Ballo in maschera, UnComposer: VerdiAct: 2.04

Type: duetVoice: S TLanguage: Italian

Roles: Amelia/Riccardo
18Era desso il figlio mio Popularity:

Opera: Lucrezia BorgiaComposer: DonizettiAct: 2

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Lucrezia Borgia
19Ah! bello a me ritorna Popularity:

Opera: NormaComposer: BelliniAct: 1.11

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Norma
20Printemps qui commence Popularity:

Opera: Samson et DalilaComposer: Saint-SaënsAct: 1

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: French

Roles: Dalila
21Deh! non volerli vittime Popularity:

Opera: NormaComposer: BelliniAct: 2.18

Type: recitativeVoice: S T BLanguage: Italian

Roles: Norma/Pollione/Oroveso
22Morro ma prima in grazia Popularity:

Opera: Ballo in maschera, UnComposer: VerdiAct: 3.02

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Amelia
23Un detto un sol Popularity:

Opera: Don CarloComposer: VerdiAct: 4.02-2

Type: duetVoice: S TLanguage: Italian

Roles: Elisabeth/Carlo
24Divinites du Styx Popularity:

Opera: AlcesteComposer: GluckAct: 1

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: French

Roles: Alceste
25Si colmi il calice Popularity:

Opera: MacbethComposer: VerdiAct: 2.06

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Lady McB
26La luce langue Popularity:

Opera: MacbethComposer: VerdiAct: 2.02-1

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Lady McB
27Re dell'abisso affrettati Popularity:

Opera: Ballo in maschera, UnComposer: VerdiAct: 1.10-2

Type: ariaVoice: contraltoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Ulrica
28Condotta ell'era in ceppi Popularity:

Opera: Trovatore, IlComposer: VerdiAct: 2.05

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Azucena
29O ma lyre immortelle Popularity:

Opera: SapphoComposer: GounodAct:

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: French

Roles: Sapho
30Una macchia e qui tuttora Popularity:

Opera: MacbethComposer: VerdiAct: 4.06

Type: recitativeVoice: S B MzLanguage: Italian

Roles: Lady McB/Doctor/Lady-in-waiting
170 Results
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