17 Apr 2008
Kathleen Battle, Carnegie Hall, New York
By Martin Bernheimer [Financial Times, 15 April 2008]
Understatement: Kathleen Battle has had an unusual career.
In 1994 she was at the peak of her powers, a lyric-coloratura of uncommon refinement, intelligence and charm. Though small, her silver-bell soprano was perfectly focused. She deserved her place as an international star attraction. Her backstage image, however, seemed less benign. Colleagues reportedly endured outrageous prima-donna indulgences and ego tantrums. Joseph Volpe, macho head of the Met, made a public point of firing her before a revival of La fille du régiment. She never returned to opera.