Kathleen Deanna Battle (born August 13, 1948), is an African-American operatic light lyric-coloratura soprano known for her agile and light voice and her silvery, pure tone. Battle initially became known for her work within the concert repertoire through performances with major orchestras during the early and mid 1970s. She made her opera debut in 1975. Battle expanded her repertoire into lyric soprano and coloratura soprano roles during the 1980s and early 1990s. Although she no longer appears in operas, she remains active in concert and recital performances. Battle performed in recitals, choral works and opera. Her work continued to take her to performance venues around the world. In 1980 she made her Zürich Opera debut as Adina in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore. In 1982, she made her Salzburg Festival debut in Così fan tutte, followed three days later by an appearance in one of the Festival's Mozart Matinee concerts. In 1985, she was the soprano soloist in Mozart's Coronation Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, conducted by Herbert von Karajan. That same year she made her Royal Opera debut as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos. In opera she sang a variety of roles including Oscar at Chicago Lyric Opera and a highly acclaimed Semele at Carnegie Hall. She returned to Salzburg various times to sing Susanna, Zerlina, and Despina, Mozart roles which she also sang at several other opera houses during that period. Battle became an established artist at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1980s, singing over 150 performances with the company in 13 different operas, including the Met's first ever production of Handel's Giulio Cesare. Other opera houses where she performed included San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Vienna State Opera, and Deutsche Oper Berlin. She received three Grammy awards for her recordings: Kathleen Battle Sings Mozart (1986), Salzburg Recital (1987), and Ariadne auf Naxos (1987). She also received the Laurence Olivier Award (1985) for her stage performance as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Royal Opera House, London. Critical response to Battle's performances had rarely varied throughout the years following her debut. In 1985, Time Magazine, pronounced her "the best lyric coloratura soprano in the world". Battle has continued to pursue a number of diverse projects including the works of composers who are not associated with traditional classical music, performing the works of Vangelis, Stevie Wonder, and George Gershwin. In July 2007 she debuted at the Aspen Music Festival performing an all-Gershwin program as part of a season benefit. In October 2007, at a fundraiser for the Keep a Child Alive Charity, Kathleen Battle and Alicia Keys performed the song Miss Sarajevo written by U2's Bono. On November 23, 2008, she performed "Superwoman" on the American Music Awards with Alicia Keys and Queen Latifah. On February 8, 2010, she performed at Carnegie Hall in a piano-accompanied recital of works by Schubert, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff...
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