DF Previews Soprano Kathleen Battle (Verizon Hall / Kimmel Center — 24 October 2014)

reclining standards

Soprano Kathleen Battle Kathleen Battle

Make no mistake about it: A performance by Kathleen Battle is An Event. Anyone interested in hearing great music – and experiencing a true diva – should go at least once.

In the 1980s, Battle became one of opera’s top-ranking stars. She brought to the party a graceful, natural musicality, and an exceptionally lovely lyric soprano – silky and luxurious throughout its range, with (rare for this voice type) an instantly identifiable timbre.   It didn’t hurt that she was beautiful, and impeccably turned-out – a veritable couture goddess. I frequently use her filmed Magic Flute from the Met for teaching purposes, and it never fails that besotted students ask about her ravishing Pamina – “who is that?”

I saw a lot of Battle in those years, in opera but more often as a recitalist. I would say the gowns alone were worth the price of admission, but that’s…

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