I came home from work today I was saddened to find that Shirley Verrett, opera star of the highest order and voice teacher at University of Michigan, had passed away. The word “diva” could (and should) most definitely apply to her, but not in a pejorative sense at all. Even in her late 70’s I remember seeing her strutting down the hallway at the school of music in her high heels and make-up done to perfection. Fierce doesn’t even begin to describe it.
I didn’t really have many personal interactions with her at school, which I of course regret. She did, however, pull me aside during a rehearsal for La boheme one evening and gave me such a wonderful compliment and words of encouragement that I will carry with me always.
Please watch this. It’s one of the most beautiful pieces of music sung by one of the greatest opera singers. Honestly.
Click here for here New York Times obit.
Artist: Shirley Verrett/ Album: Carousel (Revival)