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Shirley Verrett to be honored by the Metropolitan Opera Guild


Created in 2005 to mark the 70th anniversary of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, the Opera News Awards recognize five individuals for distinguished achievement in the field of opera. On Thursday, November 19, the fifth annual Opera News Awards will honor soprano Martina Arroyo; mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato; bass-baritone Gerald Finley; composer Philip Glass; and SMTD’s own James Earl Jones Distinguished University Professor of Voice, mezzo-soprano Shirley Verrett.

Shirley Verrett has been a star at the world’s great opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Bolshoi Opera, the Paris Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Vienna Staatsoper, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where she has been acclaimed for exceptional gifts as a singing actress. She appeared at the Metropolitan opera for more than two decades. She sang the roles of Cassandra and Dido at the opening night of the Metropolitan’s production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens. At the Paris Opera Miss Verrett starred in a series of productions staged especially for her. In 1990, she opened the Bastille Opera in a production of Les Troyens that commemorated France’s bicentennial. At the Teatro alla Scala, Miss Verrett opened the 1975 season with Claudio Abbado, conductor. Other highlights of her Italian career have included her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in Donizetti’sMaria Stuarda at the Maggio Musicale and as the heroine of Cherubini’s Médée at the Teatro Comunale in Florence, and Tosca at the Arena di Verona.

Opera News Editor-in-Chief F. Paul Driscoll states “Shirley Verrett is one of opera’s true legends – an artist whose beauty, elegance and charisma made her a favorite with audiences throughout the United States and Europe and a woman whose courage, tenacity and integrity have made her a role model for all artists. She created a legion of unforgettable performances in the mezzo-soprano and soprano repertory, including Lady Macbeth at La Scala, Gluck’s Iphigénie at the Paris Opera and both Casssandra and Dido in the historic Metropolitan Opera premiere of Les Troyens.”

Professor Verrett is the recipient of many other honors and awards, among them the Marian Anderson Award, Naumburg Award, and the Sullivan Award. In 1970, she received the French Government’s Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1984 was again decorated with the Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.

Commenting about the winners of the 2009 Opera News Awards, Driscoll stated “The musical and spiritual generosity of these five superlative artists provides abiding inspiration to opera lovers everywhere; the celebration of their distinguished achievements will be a joyous occasion.” 

past news

November 2015
October 2014

Anisha Nandi, from The Michigan Daily, sat down with professor Michael Gould to talk about his "Remember Me" show. The video can be seen on the Michigan Daily website.   10/01/2014

July 2014

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Dance, Peter Sparling is a recipient of a Distinguished University Professorship. Effective September 1, Sparling will be a Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor. This appointment is one of the highest honors the University can bestow upon a faculty member.   07/18/2014

Professor Patricia Hall will be presenting her paper, "Alban Berg's 'Guilt' by Association to the Music, Censorship and Meaning in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union conference at the Colburn School in Los Angeles this August.   07/12/2014

April 2014

Prof. Ed Sarath Receives U-M's "Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award" 04/21/2014

Professor Kuster Wins Prestigious OPERA America Grant 04/04/2014

Professor Mukherji to Speak in London this July 04/04/2014

Áine Heneghan, Assistant Professor of Music Theory, will present her research on Schoenberg's Formenlehre at the following conferences, all in 2014: Music Theory Midwest (Appleton, WI), the Eighteenth Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music (Toronto, Canada), EuroMAC (Leuven, Belgium), and the annual meeting of the Society for Music Theory (Milwaukee).   04/01/2014

March 2014

U-M UpstART Festival Begins 03/31/2014

A Multimedia Installation on Climate Change 03/28/2014

Wayne Petty, Associate Professor of Music Theory, will read his paper, "Some Multimovement Designs in C. P. E. Bach's Late Keyboard Sonatas" at the Seventh EuroMac conference, which will gather scholars from all music theory societies in Europe in Leuven, Belgium, from 17 to 21 September, 2014.  An adaptation of the paper will be presented to the Society for Music Theory in Milwaukee in the Fall of 2014.   03/26/2014

Walter Everett, Professor of Music Theory, announces the publication of Los Beatles como músicos: De Revolver de la Antología (Buenos Aires: Eterna Cadencia, 2013), the Spanish translation of his The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver through the Anthology (Oxford University Press, 1999).   03/21/2014

Celebration of Professor George Shirley's 80th Birthday 03/19/2014

Prof. Korsyn presents keynote in The Hague, serves in scholarly appointments 03/14/2014

December 2013

In January 2014 Professor Wayne Petty will read the paper, "Wilhelm Fischer and the Fortspinnung-type Sonata Exposition," at the Seventh International Conference on Music Theory in Tallin and Pärnu, Estonia.  The conference theme is "Musical Form: Mapping the Territories."   12/17/2013

AmeriGrove II, edited by Professor Charles Garrett, is published 12/13/2013

November 2013

Gosman Presents Beethoven Research 11/16/2013

Department of Music Theory Announces Visiting Speakers of 2014 11/16/2013

Everett Launches Beatles Observances 11/16/2013

Interarts professor Holly Hughes presents The Dog and Pony Show (Bring Your Own Pony) in a webcast performance at the Chicago Humanities Festival on Mon., Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Her newest performance work, the piece offers a poetic and comic meditation on midlife crises in the key of canine.   11/01/2013

September 2013

SMTD Welcomes New Faculty 09/27/2013

Ramon Satyendra, associate professor of music theory, has published his essay, "Morphisms of Generalized Interval Systems and PR-Groups" (co-authored with Thomas Fiore and Thomas Noll), in Journal of Mathematics and Music 7/1.   09/20/2013

Alan Gosman Co-authors New Beethoven Book 09/06/2013

July 2013

Professor Ashley Lucas and three Theatre & Drama students are engaged in an intensive exchange program with UniRio in Rio de Janiero, Brazil this summer, where they are blogging about their experiences in UniRio's prison arts program and more.   07/12/2013

June 2013

SMTD Mourns Professor Emeritus Erling Bengtsson 06/10/2013

Holly Hughes, professor of interarts performance in the Department of Theatre & Drama, was profiled in Hyperallergic, an online magazine about art and culture, which included a Q&A with Hughes about her role as one of the "NEA Four."   06/06/2013

Music theory professor Walter Everett's role as an expert on the music of the Beatles was the subject of an article in      06/06/2013

Hall presents in Copenhagen 06/03/2013

May 2013

Robert Hurst, associate professor of jazz and contemporary improvisation, was featured in a Q&A article in on the occasion of the release of his new CD, BOB: a palindrome.   05/01/2013

November 2012
November 2011
February 2010
Current Faculty News
Prof. Ellen Rowe honored as Arthur F. Thurnau Professormore
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