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Shirley Verrett

Singer details:

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

About Shirley Verrett:

Shirley Verrett (May 31, 1931 Ė 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

172 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-SaŽnsAct: 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
4Bella figlia dell'amore Popularity:

Opera: RigolettoComposer: VerdiAct: 4.04

Type: quartetVoice: S cA T BrLanguage: Italian

Roles: Gilda/Maddalena/Duke/Rigoletto
5Les tringles des sistres tintaient (Gypsy Song) Popularity:

Opera: CarmenComposer: BizetAct: 2.02

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: French

Roles: Carmen/Frasquita/MercťdŤs
6Pres des remparts de Seville (Seguidilla) Popularity:

Opera: CarmenComposer: BizetAct: 1.12

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: French

Roles: Carmen/Josť
7Pace pace mio Dio Popularity:

Opera: Forza del destino, LaComposer: VerdiAct: 4.05

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Leonora
8O patria mia Popularity:

Opera: AidaComposer: VerdiAct: 3.03-2

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Aida
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
11Mira o Norma Popularity:

Opera: NormaComposer: BelliniAct: 2.05-1

Type: duetVoice: S S/MzLanguage: Italian

Roles: Norma/Adalgisa
12Un di se ben rammentomi Popularity:

Opera: RigolettoComposer: VerdiAct: 4.03

Type: quartetVoice: S cA T BrLanguage: Italian

Roles: Gilda/Maddalena/Duke/Rigoletto
13Ernani involami Popularity:

Opera: ErnaniComposer: VerdiAct: 1.06

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Elvira
14D'amour l'ardente flamme Popularity:

Opera: Damnation de Faust, LaComposer: BerliozAct: 4

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: French

Roles: Marguerite
15Adieu notre petite table Popularity:

Opera: ManonComposer: MassenetAct: 2.10-1

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: French

Roles: Manon
16Parle-moi de ma mere Popularity:

Opera: CarmenComposer: BizetAct: 1.09

Type: duetVoice: T SLanguage: French

Roles: Josť/MicaŽla
17O mio Fernando Popularity:

Opera: Favorita, LaComposer: DonizettiAct: 3.05

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Lťonor
18Sul suo capo aggravi un Dio Popularity:

Opera: Anna BolenaComposer: DonizettiAct: 2.03-1

Type: recitativeVoice: S MzLanguage: Italian

Roles: Anna/Giovanna
19Dio che mi vedi in core Popularity:

Opera: Anna BolenaComposer: DonizettiAct: 2.02

Type: recitativeVoice: S MzLanguage: Italian

Roles: Anna/Giovanna
20Teco io sto Popularity:

Opera: Ballo in maschera, UnComposer: VerdiAct: 2.04

Type: duetVoice: S TLanguage: Italian

Roles: Amelia/Riccardo
21Era desso il figlio mio Popularity:

Opera: Lucrezia BorgiaComposer: DonizettiAct: 2

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Lucrezia Borgia
22Ah! bello a me ritorna Popularity:

Opera: NormaComposer: BelliniAct: 1.11

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Norma
23Printemps qui commence Popularity:

Opera: Samson et DalilaComposer: Saint-SaŽnsAct: 1

Type: ariaVoice: mezzoLanguage: French

Roles: Dalila
24Deh! non volerli vittime Popularity:

Opera: NormaComposer: BelliniAct: 2.18

Type: recitativeVoice: S T BLanguage: Italian

Roles: Norma/Pollione/Oroveso
25Morro ma prima in grazia Popularity:

Opera: Ballo in maschera, UnComposer: VerdiAct: 3.02

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Amelia
26Un detto un sol Popularity:

Opera: Don CarloComposer: VerdiAct: 4.02-2

Type: duetVoice: S TLanguage: Italian

Roles: Elisabeth/Carlo
27Divinites du Styx Popularity:

Opera: AlcesteComposer: GluckAct: 1

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: French

Roles: Alceste
28Si colmi il calice Popularity:

Opera: MacbethComposer: VerdiAct: 2.06

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Lady McB
29La luce langue Popularity:

Opera: MacbethComposer: VerdiAct: 2.02-1

Type: ariaVoice: sopranoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Lady McB
30Re dell'abisso affrettati Popularity:

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

Type: ariaVoice: contraltoLanguage: Italian

Roles: Ulrica
172 Results
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