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Stephen Paulus, Classical Composer Rich in Lyricism, Dies at 65

Stephen Paulus (August 24, 1949 – October 19, 2014) was an American composer, best known for his operas and choral music. His best-known piece is his 1982 opera The Postman Always Rings Twice, one of several operas he composed for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, which prompted The New York Times to call him "a young man on the road to big things". His style is essentially tonal, and melodic and romantic by nature. He received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Foundation and won the prestigious Kennedy Center Friedheim Prize. He was commissioned by such notable organizations as the Minnesota Opera, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, the American Composers Orchestra, the Dale Warland Singers, the Harvard Glee Club and the New York Choral Society. Paulus was a passionate advocate for the works and careers of his colleagues. He co-founded the American Composers Forum in 1973, the largest composer service organization in the U.S.

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Mr. Paulus’s warmly received musical output was prodigious, including 13 operas and some 400 choral works. WIKIPEDIA

See obit By WILLIAM YARDLEYOCT. 21, 2014 NYTimes


Anita Cerquetti, Opera Fill-In Who Soared, Dies at 83


Her rise to fame was dramatic. Miss Cerquetti stepped in for Maria Callas in Rome in 1958, but her fame was relatively short-lived. Anita Cerquetti (13 April 1931 – 11 October 2014) was an Italian dramatic soprano who had a short career in the 1950s. Cerquetti was born in Montecosaro, near Macerata, Italy. She originally studied violin and trained eight years with Luigi Mori. After a mere year of vocal study at the Conservatory of Perugia, she made her operatic debut in Spoleto in 1951 as Aida. She sang all over Italy, notably in Florence as Noraime in Les Abencérages under Carlo Maria Giulini in 1956,in the Italian version "Gli Abencerragi", and as Elvira in Ernani under Dimitri Mitropoulos in 1957. Her Teatro alla Scala debut was in 1958 as Abigaille in Nabucco. She also sang on RAI in a wide variety of roles, such as Elcia in Mosè in Egitto, Mathilde in Guglielmo Tell and Elena in I vespri siciliani.
 WIKIPEDIA Cerquetti made headlines in January 1958 when she replaced "in extremis" the ailing Maria Callas in Norma, at the Rome Opera House. She was already singing the role at the San Carlo in Naples. She commuted between the two cities to honor both engagements for several weeks. This "tour de force" won her great acclaim, but had serious effects on her health. Shortly afterward she started withdrawing little by little from the stage until her complete retirement in 1961, aged only 30.

 

Rita Shane, a Met Soprano Known for Range and Intensity, Dies at 78


Rita Shane, a dramatic coloratura soprano admired for the range, flexibility and size of her voice, as well as the intensity she brought to her performances, died on Thursday 9 October 2014, at her home in Manhattan. She was 78. NYTimes Obit Rita Shane (August 15, 1936 – October 9, 2014) was a dramatic coloratura soprano notable for her performances in opera. She studied at Barnard College and under Beverly Peck Johnson, and made her operatic debut as Olympia in Les contes d'Hoffmann, at Chattanooga in 1964. The next year she appearing with the New York City Opera, as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. WIKIPEDIA Her performance in the 1971 live recording of Les Huguenots was described as "borderline astonishing" by reviewer Charles Parsons.[1] With the New York City Opera, Shane went on to sing in Dialogues des Carmélites (as Mme Lidoine), L'amour des trois oranges (as Fata Morgana), Don Giovanni (now as Donna Anna) and Die Zauberflöte (Queen of Night). She debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1973, as the Queen of Night. Over eight seasons, she also sang in La bohème (as Musetta), Un ballo in maschera (as Oscar), Le siège de Corinthe, La traviata, Lucia di Lammermoor, Le prophète (as Berthe, in John Dexter's production), and Rigoletto. Rita Shane at Amazon.com