Turning Tragedy into Art
By Jeannie Williams
29 Nov 2004
An interview with mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, who makes her New York Philharmonic debut this month.
"I am drawn to these characters, the juicier the better, and sometimes that means the more tragic the better." That's mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, surveying her gallery of roles, which includes some of the most tormented -- and tormenting -- women in mythic history. Medea, Jocasta, Dido, Carmen, the mysterious Melisande, Myrtle of The Great Gatsby -- murderers, victims, adulterers, suicides -- all are grist for the art of this San Francisco native.
For her New York Philharmonic debut, Ms. Hunt Lieberson will embody Phaedra in Benjamin Britten's eponymous cantata, set to a Robert Lowell translation of the Racine poem. She will also sing "Deh, per questo," from Mozart's La clemenza di Tito. For these concerts she is reunited with Sir Colin Davis, with whom she last worked in her previous incarnation as a viola fellow at Tanglewood in 1980.
[Click here for remainder of interview.]