Norman in 2014
Jessye Mae Norman
September 15, 1945
Augusta, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||September 30, 2019 (aged 74)|
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Howard University|
University of Michigan
Jessye Norman (September 15, 1945 – September 30, 2019) was an American opera singer and recitalist. She was able to perform dramatic soprano roles, but refused to be limited to that voice type. She was a commanding presence on operatic, concert and recital stages, associated with roles including Beethoven's Leonore, Wagner's Sieglinde and Kundry, Cassandre and Didon by Berlioz and Bartók's Judith. The New York Times music critic Edward Rothstein described her voice as a "grand mansion of sound", and wrote that "it has enormous dimensions, reaching backward and upward. It opens onto unexpected vistas. It contains sunlit rooms, narrow passageways, cavernous halls."
Norman was trained at Howard University, the Peabody Institute, and the University of Michigan. Her career began in Europe, where she won the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in 1968, which led to a contract with the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Her operatic début came as Elisabeth in Wagner's Tannhäuser, after which she sang as Verdi's Aida at La Scala in Milan. She made her first operatic appearance in the U.S. in 1982 with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, when cast as Jocasta in Stravinsky's Oedipus rex, and as Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. She went on to sing leading roles with many other companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Paris Opera, and the Royal Opera, London. She sang at the second inauguration of Ronald Reagan, at Queen Elizabeth II's 60th birthday celebration in 1986, and performed the La Marseillaise to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution on July 14, 1989. She sang at the 1996 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Atlanta and for the second inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1997.
Norman sang and recorded recitals of music by Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Ernest Chausson and Francis Poulenc, among others. In 1984, she won the Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo, the first of five Grammy Awards that she would collect during her career. Apart from several honorary doctorates and other awards, she received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Medal of Arts, and was a member of the British Royal Academy of Music. In 1990, UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar named her Honorary Ambassador to the United Nations.
Life and career
Early life and musical education
Norman was born in Augusta, Georgia, to Silas Norman, an insurance salesman, and Janie King-Norman, a schoolteacher. She was one of five children in a family of amateur musicians; her mother and grandmother were both pianists, and her father sang in a local choir. All siblings learned to play the piano early. Norman attended Charles T. Walker Elementary School, and proved to be a talented singer as a young child, singing gospel songs at Mount Calvary Baptist Church at the age of four. There she was greatly influenced by the singing of two women, Mrs. Golden and Sister Childs. At the age of seven she entered her first vocal competition, placing third only because of a memory slip in the second stanza of the hymn "God Will Take Care of You". She later said in interviews, "I guess He has taken care of me. That was my last memory slip in public."
When Norman was nine she was given a radio for her birthday and soon discovered the world of opera through the weekly broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera, which she listened to every Saturday. She started listening to recordings of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price, both of whom Norman credited as inspiring figures in her career. She received her first formal vocal coaching from Rosa Harris Sanders Creque who was her music teacher at A. R. Johnson Junior High School. She continued to take voice lessons privately with Ms. Sanders Creque while attending Lucy C. Laney Senior High School in downtown Augusta.[a]
Norman studied at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Northern Michigan in the opera performance program. At the age of 16, she entered the Marian Anderson Vocal Competition in Philadelphia which, although she did not win, led to an offer of a full scholarship at Howard University, in Washington, D.C. While at Howard, studying voice with Carolyn Grant, she sang in the university chorus and as a soloist at the Lincoln Temple United Church of Christ. In 1964, she became a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma.
In 1965, along with 33 other female students and four female faculty, she became a founding member of the Delta Nu chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity. In 1966, she won the National Society of Arts and Letters singing competition. After graduating in 1967 with a degree in music, she began graduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and later at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from which she earned a master's degree in 1968. During this time Norman studied voice with Elizabeth Mannion and Pierre Bernac. Later in her career, she worked closely with vocal coach Sylvia Olden Lee at the Metropolitan Opera who was also a coach to Marian Anderson and Kathleen Battle.
Early career (1968–1979)
After graduating, Norman, like many American young musicians at the time, moved to Europe to establish herself. In 1968, she won the ARD International Music Competition in Munich. The following year, she began a three-year contract with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, where she first appeared as Elisabeth in Wagner's Tannhäuser.
Norman performed as a guest with German and Italian opera companies, often portraying noble characters convincingly, both by appearance and by unique voice which was both flexible and powerful. Her voice range was wide, from contralto registers to dramatic soprano. In 1970, she appeared in Florence in the title role in Handel's Deborah. In 1971, she sang at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in the role of S��lika in Meyerbeer's L'Africaine. The same year, she portrayed Countess Almaviva in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro, alongside Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau as the count at the Berlin Festival, and recorded the role with the BBC Orchestra conducted by Colin Davis. The recording was a finalist for the Montreux International Record Award competition and exposed her to music listeners in Europe and the United States.
In 1972, Norman made her first appearance at La Scala, where she sang the title role in Verdi's Aida and at The Royal Opera at Covent Garden, London, where she appeared as Cassandra in Les Troyens by Berlioz. Norman was Aida again in a concert version that same year in her first well-publicized American performance at the Hollywood Bowl for the venue's 50th anniversary celebration. This was followed by an all-Wagner concert at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts, and a recital tour of the country, after which she returned to Europe for several engagements. Norman briefly returned to the United States to give her first New York City recital as part of the "Great Performers" series in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1973.
In 1975, Norman moved to London and had no staged opera appearances for the next five years. She remained internationally active as a recitalist and soloist in works such as Mendelssohn's Elijah and Franck's Les Béatitudes. Norman returned to North America again in 1976 and 1977 to make an extensive concert tour. Norman toured Europe throughout the 1970s, giving recitals of works by Schubert, Mahler, Wagner, Brahms, Satie, Messiaen, and several contemporary American composers, to great critical acclaim.
In October 1980, Norman returned to the operatic stage in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss at the Hamburg State Opera in Germany. Her first operatic appearance in the United States came in 1982 at the Opera Company of Philadelphia, where she appeared as Jocasta in Stravinsky's Oedipus rex, and as Purcell's Dido. Her first performance at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City was in 1983, when she portrayed both Cassandre and Didon in Les Troyens by Berlioz in a production that marked the company's 100th-anniversary season. She usually performed one of the roles, and Tatiana Troyanos the other, but one night she performed both roles.
Norman programmed recitals innovatively, including contemporary music. She commissioned the song cycle woman.life.song by composer Judith Weir, a work premiered at Carnegie Hall, with texts by Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Clarissa Pinkola Estés. In a review of a recital at Alice Tully Hall, Bernard Holland wrote in The New York Times that she "carefully gauged her seemingly limitless resources to fit the changing textures of her material". After a recital at Carnegie Hall, Allen Hughes wrote in the same paper that Norman "has one of the most opulent voices before the public today, and, as discriminating listeners are aware, her performances are backed by extraordinary preparation, both musical and otherwise."
According to Encyclopædia Britannica: "By the mid-1980s she was one of the most popular and highly regarded dramatic soprano singers in the world." She told John Gruen in an interview: "As for my voice, it cannot be categorized – and I like it that way, because I sing things that would be considered in the dramatic, mezzo or spinto range. I like so many different kinds of music that I've never allowed myself the limitations of one particular range." She was invited to sing at the second inauguration of U.S. President Ronald Reagan on January 21, 1985; performing "Simple Gifts" from Aaron Copland's Old American Songs at the ceremony. In 1986, Norman sang God Save the Queen for Queen Elizabeth II's 60th-birthday celebration. That same year she appeared as a soloist in Strauss's Four Last Songs with the Berlin Philharmonic during its tour of the United States.
Over the years Norman expanded her talent into less familiar areas. In 1988, she sang a concert performance of Poulenc's one-act opera La voix humaine ("The Human Voice"), based on Jean Cocteau's 1930 play of the same name. During the 1980s and early 1990s, Norman produced numerous award-winning recordings, and many of her performances were televised. In addition to opera, many of Norman's recordings and performances during this time focused on art songs, lieder, oratorios, and orchestral works. Her interpretation of the Four Last Songs is especially acclaimed, as "the tonal qualities of her voice were ideal for these final works of the great Romantic German lieder tradition".
Norman also performed Arnold Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder and his one-woman opera Erwartung. In 1989, she appeared at the Metropolitan Opera for a performance of Erwartung that marked the company's first single-character production. It was presented in a double bill with Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle, with Norman playing Judith. Both operas were broadcast nationally. That same year, she was the featured soloist with Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in the opening concert of its 148th season, which PBS telecast live. She performed at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre opening and gave a recital at the National Theater and Concert Hall in Taipei.
Also in 1989, Norman was invited to sing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution on July 14. Her rendition was delivered at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, in a costume designed by Azzedine Alaïa as part of an elaborate pageant orchestrated by avant-garde designer Jean-Paul Goude. This event was the inspiration that led the South African poet Lawrence Mduduzi Ndlovu to write a poem titled "I Shall Be Heard" dedicated to Norman. The poem appears in Ndlovu's book of poems In Quiet Realm, the foreword to which is penned by Norman.
Later life (1990–2019)
From the early 1990s, Norman lived in Croton-on-Hudson, New York, in a secluded estate known as "The White Gates", which was previously owned by television personality Allen Funt. She performed at Tchaikovsky's 150th Birthday Gala in Leningrad and appeared at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in the title role of Gluck's Alceste in 1990. She sang American spirituals with soprano Kathleen Battle at Carnegie Hall that year. The following year, she performed in a concert recorded live with Lawrence Foster and the Lyon Opera Orchestra at Notre-Dame de Paris. Norman sang Jocasta in Stravinsky's Oedipus rex at the opening operatic production at the new Saito Kinen Festival in the Japanese Alps near Matsumoto in 1992. The following year, she sang the title role in the Metropolitan Opera's production of Ariadne auf Naxos. In 1994, Norman sang at the funeral of former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. She was again the featured soloist with the New York Philharmonic, then conducted by Kurt Masur, in a gala concert telecast for the opening of the orchestra's 153rd season in 1995. She gave a highly lauded performance as the title character of Janáček's The Makropulos Affair when it was first performed in 1996.
Norman performed at the 1996 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in Atlanta, singing "Faster, Higher, Stronger". In January 1997, she performed at the second inauguration of U.S. President Bill Clinton, singing, "Oh freedom!". In 1998, she performed a recital at Carnegie Hall incorporating sacred music by Duke Ellington, scored for jazz combo, string quartet and piano. She sang Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa. A Christmas television program was filmed in her home town. A spring recital tour in 1999 included performances in Tel Aviv. In the following season, she appeared at the Salzburg Festival.
In 1999, Norman collaborated with choreographer-dancer Bill T. Jones in a project for New York City's Lincoln Center, called "How! Do! We! Do!" In 2000, she released an album, I Was Born in Love with You, featuring the songs of Michel Legrand. The recording, reviewed as a jazz crossover project, featured Legrand on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Grady Tate on drums. In February and March 2001, Norman was featured at Carnegie Hall in a three-part concert series. With James Levine as her pianist, the concerts were a significant arts event, replete with an 80-page program booklet featuring a newly commissioned watercolor portrait of Norman by David Hockney. In 2002, Norman performed at the opening of Singapore's Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.
On June 28, 2001, Norman and Kathleen Battle performed Mythodea by Vangelis at the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, Greece. On March 11, 2002, Norman performed "America the Beautiful" at a service unveiling two monumental columns of light at the site of the former World Trade Center, as a memorial for the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City. In 2002, she returned to Augusta to announce that she would fund a pilot school of the arts for children in Richmond County. Classes commenced at St. John United Methodist Church in the fall of 2003. In November 2004, a documentary about Norman's life and work was directed by André Heller and Othmar Schmiderer as director of photography, documenting her music as well as political and social issues. In 2006, Norman collaborated with the modern dance choreographer Trey McIntyre for a special performance during the summer at the Vail Dance Festival.
In March 2009, Norman curated Honor!, a celebration of the African-American cultural legacy. The festival honored African-American trailblazers and artists with concerts, recitals, lectures, panel discussions, and exhibitions hosted by Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and other sites around New York City.
Norman stopped performing ensemble opera, concentrating instead on recitals and concerts. She served on the boards of directors for Carnegie Hall, City-Meals-on-Wheels in New York City, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the New York Botanical Garden, the New York Public Library, National Music Foundation, and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. She was a member of the board and spokesperson for the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation, and also spokesperson for Partnership for the Homeless. She served on the Board of Trustees of the Augusta Opera Association and of Paine College.
In March 2013, the Apollo Theater and Manhattan School of Music featured Norman in Ask Your Mama, a 90-minute multimedia show by Laura Karpman based on Langston Hughes's "Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz".
In March 2014, Norman was featured at The Green Music Center Weill Hall on the campus of Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California (Sonoma County), in a recital of American standards in tributes to the likes of George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald. In 2015, she and pianist Mark Markham presented a program of mainly Gershwin, Kern, and Rodgers and Hart at Carnegie Hall with a few art songs by Satie and Poulenc.
Death and memorial
Norman suffered a spinal-cord injury in 2015. She died at Mount Sinai Morningside in Manhattan on September 30, 2019, aged 74. Norman's public funeral was held in her hometown of Augusta, Georgia. Actor Laurence Fishburne, sociologist Michael Eric Dyson, the Metropolitan Opera's Clive Gillinson, civil rights activist Vernon Jordan, and Mayor Hardie Davis spoke. Opera's J'Nai Bridges, jazz's Wycliffe Gordon, and students from Morehouse College and Spelman College, as well as, Jessye Norman School of the Arts performed.
Norman was memorialized with a gala tribute at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York City, on November 24, 2019. Among the speakers and performers at the public remembrance were Anna Deavere Smith, Gloria Steinem, the former Minister of Culture of France, Jack Lang, Eric Owens, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Peter Gelb, and Renée Fleming.
Jessye Norman School of the Arts
In 2003, the Rachel Longstreet Foundation and Norman partnered to open the Jessye Norman School of the Arts, a tuition-free performing arts after-school program for economically disadvantaged students in Augusta, Georgia. Norman was actively involved in the program, including fundraisers for its benefit.
Honors and awards
- 1966: Winner of the National Society of Arts and Letters singing competition
- 1968: First prize at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich
- 1973, 1976, 1977: Awarded France's Grand Prix du Disque for albums of lieder by Wagner, Schumann, Mahler and Schubert
- 1982: Gramophone Award for her recording of Strauss' Four Last Songs
- 1982: Musical America magazine's Musician of the Year.
- 1984: Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Solo Performance for "Ravel: Songs of Maurice Ravel"
- 1984: Commandeur de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
- 1984: France's National Museum of Natural History named an orchid for her.
- 1987: Member of the Royal Academy of Music
- 1988: Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for "Wagner: Lohengrin"
- 1989: Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for "Wagner: Die Walküre"
- 1989: Légion d'honneur (France)
- 1989: Honorary Fellow Jesus College, Cambridge
- 1990: Honorary Ambassador to the United Nations by UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
- 1991: Norman's home town, Augusta, Georgia, dedicated Riverwalk Augusta's amphitheater, named in her honor.
- 1992: Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement
- 1995: Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class
- 1996: Norman was a featured performer during the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
- 1997: Winner of the 1997 Radcliffe Medal, presented annually by the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association to honor individuals whose lives and work have had a significant impact on society
- March 1997: Honored by New York's Associated Black Charities at the 11th Annual Black History Makers Awards Dinner for her contributions to the arts and to African-American culture
- December 1997: Kennedy Center Honors (youngest recipient in the Honors' 20-year existence)
- 1998: Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for "Bartók: Bluebeard's Castle"
- 1999: Georgia Music Hall of Fame
- 2000: Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal for her work in the fight against lupus, breast cancer, AIDS, and hunger
- 2000: Outstanding Alumnae by Howard University
- 2002: Inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame
- 2006: Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2006: Edison Award (Oeuvreprijs)
- Ace Award from the National Cable Television Association for "Jessye Norman at Notre Dame"
- 2009: National Medal of Arts presented by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House in February 2010
- 2013: Spingarn Medal from the NAACP
- 2015: Wolf Prize in Arts (with Murray Perahia)
- 2018: 12th Glenn Gould Prize from the Glenn Gould Foundation
- 2018: Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal
Norman received honorary doctorates from more than 30 colleges, universities, and conservatories.
- 1982: Honorary doctorate from Howard University
- 1984: Honorary doctorate from the Boston Conservatory of Music
- 1984: Honorary doctorate from Sewanee: The University of the South
- 1988: Honorary doctorate from Harvard University
- 1989: Honorary doctorate from the University of Cambridge, UK
- 1990: Honorary Doctor in Music from the Juilliard School of Music
- 1990: Honorary doctorate from Yale University
- 1996: Honorary doctorate of Fine Arts from Wesleyan University
- 2011: Honorary doctorate from the Manhattan School of Music
- 2011: Honorary doctorate from Northwestern University
- 2013: Honorary doctorate from the University of Rochester
- 2015: Honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford, UK
- 2019: Honorary doctorate from the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston
- Aida, Aida (Verdi)
- Alceste, Alceste (Gluck)
- Antonia, The Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach)
- Ariadne, Ariadne auf Naxos (Richard Strauss)
- Armida, Armida (Haydn)
- Arminda, Die Gärtnerin aus Liebe (Mozart)
- Carmen, Carmen (Bizet)
- Cassandre and Didon, Les Troyens (Berlioz)
- Countess Almaviva, Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart)
- Deborah, Deborah (Handel)
- Dido, Dido and Aeneas (Purcell)
- Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni (Mozart)
- Elisabeth, Tannhäuser (Wagner)
- Elle, La voix humaine (Poulenc)
- Elsa, Lohengrin (Wagner)
- Emilia Marty, The Makropulos Affair (Janáček)
- Euryanthe, Euryanthe (Weber)
- Giulietta, The Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach)
- Hélène, La belle Hélène (Offenbach)
- Idamante, Idomeneo (Mozart)
- Isolde, Tristan und Isolde (Wagner) (Act II in Concert)
- Jocasta, Oedipus rex (Stravinsky)
- Judith, Bluebeard's Castle (Bartók)
- Kundry, Parsifal (Wagner)
- Giulietta di Kelbar, Un giorno di regno (Verdi)
- Leonore, Fidelio (Beethoven)
- Madame Lidoine, Dialogues of the Carmelites (Poulenc)
- Marguerite, La damnation de Faust (Berlioz)
- Medora, Il corsaro (Verdi)
- Pénélope, Pénélope (Fauré)
- Phedra, Hippolyte et Aricie (Rameau)
- Rosina, La vera costanza (Haydn)
- Salome, Salome (R. Strauss)
- Salome, Hérodiade (Massenet)
- Santuzza, Cavalleria rusticana (Mascagni)
- Sélica, L'Africaine (Meyerbeer)
- Sieglinde, Die Walküre (Wagner)
- Third Norn, Götterdämmerung (Wagner)
- Woman, Erwartung (Schoenberg)
Notable parts in oratorios and orchestral concerts included:
- (Berlioz) Les nuits d'été
- (Berlioz) Roméo et Juliette
- (Brahms) Alto Rhapsody
- (Mahler) Das Lied von der Erde
- (Mahler) Des Knaben Wunderhorn
- (Mahler) Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen
- (Mahler) Kindertotenlieder
- (Mahler) Symphony No. 2 "Resurrection"
- (Mahler) Symphony No. 3
- (Ravel) Shéhérazade
- (Schoenberg) Gurre-Lieder
- (R. Strauss) Four Last Songs
- (Tippett), A Child of Our Time
Norman performed recitals including:
- Alban Berg: Sieben frühe Lieder, Altenberg Lieder, Jugendlieder
- Brahms: Lieder
- Chausson: Poème de l'amour et de la mer, Chanson perpétuelle
- Poulenc: Mélodies
- Ravel: Chansons madécasses
- Satie: Mélodies
- Schoenberg: Brettl-Lieder
- Schubert: Lieder, Erlkönig
- Schumann: Frauen-Liebe und Leben, Liederkreis, Op. 39
- R. Strauss: Lieder
- Wagner:Wesendonck Lieder
- Hugo Wolf: Lieder
- She took voice lessons from her teacher and mentor Rosa Harris Sanders who recognized early on that Jessye's voice was special. It was Mrs. Sanders who arranged her audition at Howard University which secured her a scholarship. When Norman's father died, the family wanted her to leave school and come home. Mrs. Sanders arranged for a benefit concert in Augusta so Norman could stay in school.
- Wakin & Cooper 2019.
- Telegraph 2019.
- Stevenson 2020.
- Magill 2014, p. 2769.
- Braun 2014.
- Langer 2019.
- Henahan 1973.
- "Notable deaths in 2009". The Augusta Chronicle. December 31, 2009.
- Letterman 2014.
- "Jessye Norman". Interlochen.org. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- "After 149 Years, A Historic Black Church In Shaw Closes Its Doors", The Kojo Nnamdi Show, WAMU, October 2, 2018.
- Howard Chapter 2020.
- Past Winners Archived December 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, National Society of Arts and Letters.
- Jessye Norman Archived January 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, UXL Newsmakers.
- "Sylvia Olden Lee, 86, Vocal Coach to Kathleen Battle, Jessye Norman & Marian Anderson". Opera News. April 20, 2004.
- Eubanks, W. Ralph (October 2, 2019). "Jessye Norman was a diva whose voice could not be denied". CNN.
- Magill 2014, p. 2770.
- Swed, Marc (October 2, 2019). "Appreciation: Why Jessye Norman was more than a great voice. Much more". Los Angeles Times.
- Jessye Norman, African American World, PBS. Article by Encyclopaedia Britannica.
- Dobrin 2019.
- Magill 2014, p. 2770–71.
- Decca 2020.
- Kozinn, Allan (March 25, 2000). "MUSIC REVIEW; No Schoenberg? Let Me Out of Here". The New York Times. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
- Holland, Bernard (April 12, 1982), "Recital: Jessye Norman Sings", The New York Times.
- Hughes, Allen (November 24, 1983), Recital: Jessye Norman, The New York Times.
- Gruen, John (September 18, 1983), "An American Soprano Adds the Met to her Roster", The New York Times.
- "The 50th Presidential Inauguration, Ronald W. Reagan, January 21, 1985". U.S. Senate. Retrieved January 3, 2017.
- Merry, Stephanie (January 12, 2017). "Inauguration performances weren't always so contentious: Highlights from the last 75 years". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Kettle, Martin (October 1, 2019). ""A majestic figure in every sense" – stars remember Jessye Norman". The Guardian. Associated Press. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- Trap, Diane (October 16, 2019), "Jessye Norman (born 1945)", New Georgia Encyclopedia.
- Solly, Meilan (October 1, 2019). "World-Renowned Soprano Jessye Norman Dies at 74". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
- Chicago 2019.
- Henahan 1988.
- Magill 2014, p. 2771.
- Met 2020.
- Paley 1989.
- Hong Kong Cultural Centre at 30: still the main attraction, warts and all South China Morning Post, December 21, 2019
- Jessye, Kham.com.tw. Archived January 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Pour Jack Lang, Jessye Norman était le "symbole même de cette France de l'universalité que nous voulions célébrer" (in French) francetvinfo.fr
- Ndlovu, Lawrence Mduduzi, In Quiet Realm, South Africa: Write-On Publishing, 2018 ISBN 978-0-6399359-5-9.
- Deutsche Grammophon 1991.
- ArkivMusic 2020.
- McDonald & Walton 2007.
- Goldman, John J.; Jackson, Robert L. (May 24, 1994). "Kennedy's Widow Recalled as a 'Blessing' to Family, Nation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Minzesheimer, Bob (May 9, 2014). "Jessye Norman sings her way from Georgia to world stage". USA Today. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Holland, Bernard (January 13, 1996). "Opera Review; Art, in the End, Transcends". The New York Times. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Clines, Francis X. (January 21, 1997). "A Day of Celebration, With Political Woes Left Behind for a Day". New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
- Millington 2019.
- Boston 1998.
- Salzburg 2019.
- Lincoln Center 1999.
- Van Gelder, Lawrence (June 27, 2001). "Footlights – Spatial Relations". The New York Times. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
- "Jessye Norman, Grammy-Winning Opera Singer, Dies at 74", variety.com, September 30, 2019.
- "Carnegie Hall presents Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy, Curated by Jessye Norman". Carnegie Hall. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Giola, Michael (March 23, 2013), "Ask Your Mama, With Jessye Norman and Nnenna Freelon, Plays the Apollo March 23", Playbill.
- Braun, William R. (May 2015). "Jessye Norman & Mark Markham; New York City, Carnegie Hall, 2/14/15". Opera News. 79 (11).
- "Jessye Norman awarded the Twelfth Glenn Gould Prize", The Glenn Gould Foundation (press release), April 13, 2018.
- Fekadu, Mesfin (September 30, 2019). "Jessye Norman, the International Opera Star, Dead at 74". NBC4 Washington.
- Fekadu, Mesfin (October 13, 2019). "Jessye Norman, Opera Icon, Memorialized at Hometown Funeral". U.S. News and World Report. Associated Press. Retrieved March 25, 2019.
- "Jessye Norman Honored With a Starry Met Opera Memorial" by Michael Cooper, The New York Times, November 25, 2019
- "Jessye Norman Remembered As Force of Nature at Met Memorial ", Voice of America, November 25, 2019 (AP)
- Brackett, Charmaign (November 5, 2012). "Opera stars will sing for Jessye Norman School of the Arts fundraiser". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- Brown, Jeffrey (May 30, 2014). "How opera legend Jessye Norman learned to 'Stand Up Straight and Sing'". PBS NewsHour. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- 1. Preis Gesang 1968 / Jessye Norman BR 2012
- Harvard Gazette 1997.
- Manning, Martin (2004). "Jessye Norman". In Hoffmann, Frank (ed.). Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound. Routledge. ISBN 9781135949495.
- "Capturing the Flag Archived 2008-01-07 at the Wayback Machine", San Francisco Classical Voice (1982)
- Grammy 2020.
- rfi 2019.
- Guardian 2019.
- BBC 2019.
- "Jessye Norman (1945–2019)". jesus.cam.ac.uk. Cambridge: Jesus Collage Cambridge. October 1, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
- Howard 2013.
- Jessye Norman Archived January 7, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Picture Story, Augusta.com.
- "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
- "Reply to a parliamentary question" (PDF) (in German). p. 1709. Retrieved November 20, 2012.
- "Sidney Poitier, Jessye Norman and Ed Bradley honored at New York's Associated Black Charities Black History Makers Awards Dinner", Jet, March 3, 1997.
- Zeit 2019.
- Passing of Jessye Norman Howard University, October 1, 2019
- "View Inductees: Norman, Jessye". classicalwalkoffame.org. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- Spek, Boris van der (October 1, 2019). "Amerikaanse operazangeres Jessye Norman overleden". nrc (in Dutch). Amsterdam. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- "Jessye Norman". National Endowment for the Arts. April 17, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- "White House Announces 2009 National Medal of Arts Recipients". March 1, 2010. Archived from the original on March 1, 2010.
- "Today: Grammy-Winner Jessye Norman To Receive Spingarn Medal During NAACP National Convention". NAACP. July 17, 2013. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
- Davis, Barry (August 3, 2016). "Opera singer Jessye Norman comes to Israel to claim Wolf Prize for Music". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Simeonov, Jenna (February 15, 2019). "Opera legend Jessye Norman on receiving Glenn Gould Prize: 'Gratitude is an important part of being a performer'". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- Cullingford, Martin (May 11, 2018). "The Music Makers: dreamers of dreams, and agents of change". Gramophone. London. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
- "Jessye Norman – The Diva". Deutsche Welle. Berlin. 2019. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- Kutsch, K. J.; Riemens, Leo (2012). Norman, Jessye. Großes Sängerlexikon (in German) (4 ed.). Walter de Gruyter. p. 3389. ISBN 978-3-59-844088-5.
- Harvard Gazette 2019.
- "Selected Honorands". Cambridge, UK: University of Cambdrige. 2019. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- Tomasson, Robert E. "Chronicle", The New York Times, May 4, 1990.
- "Yale Honors Chief, Singer And Giamatti". The New York Times. May 29, 1990. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- "Past Honorary Degree Recipients, Reunion & Commencement". Wesleyan University. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
- "Virtual Yearbooks: 2010s". Manhattan School of Music. October 1, 2019. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- "Jessye Norman to Deliver Bienen Convocation Address". Northwestern Bienen School of Music. Northwestern University. May 5, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- "Famed Soprano Jessye Norman to Receive Honorary Degree". University of Rochester. Rochester. 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- "Selected Honorands". University of Oxford. 2019.
- "Jessye Norman Announced as Commencement Speaker". New England Conservatory. 2019.
- AllMusic 2020.
- Braun, William R. (July 2014). "Books: Stand Up Straight and Sing!". Opera News. 79 (1).
- Dobrin, Peter (September 30, 2019). "Jessye Norman was a superstar globally, but Philadelphia gave her an American stage debut". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- Henahan, Donal (January 21, 1973). "Jessye Norman – "People Look at Me and Say Aida"". The New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- Henahan, Donal (February 20, 1988). "Music: La Voix Humaine". The New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- Langer, Emily (October 1, 2019). "Jessye Norman, acclaimed operatic soprano, dies at 74". The Washington Post.
- Letterman, David (November 21, 2014). "Late Show with David Letterman". CBS.
- Magill, Frank N., ed. (2014). "Jessye Norman". The 20th Century Go-N: Dictionary of World Biography. 8. Routledge. pp. 2769–2772. ISBN 978-1-317-74060-5.
- McDonald, Marianne; Walton, Michael, eds. (2007). The Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Theatre. Cambridge University Press. p. 324. ISBN 978-1-139-82725-6.
- Millington, Barry (October 1, 2019). "Jessye Norman obituary / One of the great sopranos of the 20th century who bewitched audiences with her powerful stage presence". The Guardian. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- Stevenson, Joseph (2020). "Jessye Norman / Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- Wakin, Daniel J.; Cooper, Michael (September 30, 2019). "Jessye Norman, Regal American Soprano, Is Dead at 74". The New York Times. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- "Jessye Norman discography". AllMusic. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- "Jessye Norman At Notre Dame – A Christmas Concert / Foster". ArkivMusic. 1997. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- "Jessye Norman, Grammy-winning star of opera, dies at 74". BBC. October 1, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- "Boston Symphony Orchestra concert program, Subscription Series, Season 118 (1998–1999), Week 6". Boston Symphony Orchestra. October 31, 1998. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- "Remembering Jessye Norman". csoarchives.wordpress.com. 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- "Jessye Norman / Biography". Decca Classics. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
- "Battle · Norman / Spirituals in Concert". Deutsche Grammophon. 1991. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- "Jessye Norman". Grammy Awards. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
- "Jessye Norman, Grammy-winning opera star, dies at age 74". The Guardian. Associated Press. September 30, 2019. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
- "Jessye Norman To Receive Radcliffe Medal". The Harvard Gazette. May 29, 1997. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- "Honorary Degrees". The Harvard Gazette. 2019. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- "Jessye Norman". Howard University. 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- "Chapter History". Gamma Sigma Sigma at Howard University. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- "14 Untypical Star Appearances at Lincoln Center / Jessye Norman / Bill T. Jones (New Visions) 1999". The Score. Lincoln Center. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- "Performances with Jessye Norman] Metropolitan Opera archives". Metropolitan Opera. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- "Live from Lincoln Center". paleycenter.org. September 20, 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- "Celebrated opera singer Jessye Norman dies, aged 74". Radio France Internationale. October 1, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- "Celebrated opera singer Jessye Norman dies, aged 74". Radio France Internationale. October 1, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- "Salzburger Festspiele: Nachruf zum Tod von Jessye Norman". Tabulara (in German). October 1, 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- "Opernsängerin: Legendäre Sopranistin Jessye Norman gestorben". Die Zeit (in German). October 1, 2019. Retrieved October 1, 2019.
- Gates, Henry Louis, and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (eds) (2004), "Norman, Jessye" African American Lives, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 629–631, ISBN 0-19-516024-X
- "With a Song in My Heart". Deutsche Grammophon. 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jessye Norman.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Jessye Norman|
- Jessye Norman discography at Discogs
- Jessye Norman School for the Arts
- Jessye Norman Biography and Interview on American Academy of Achievement
- Jessye Norman (Soprano), Bach Cantatas Website
- Ronald Blum: Jessye Norman remembered as force of nature at Met memorial / Thousands filled the Metropolitan Opera House on Sunday for a celebration of the soprano, who died Sept. 30 at 74. pressherald.com November 25, 2019