- House passes VA reform compromise
- Obama admin to blame for HealthCare.gov woes, $840M cost: GAO
- Al Gore’s climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Army’s 3-D printed bombs will create ‘a whole new universe’ of deadly capabilities
- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns Israeli shelling of shelter in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
Mezzo-soprano opera star Rise Stevens dies at 99
Question of the Day
NEW YORK (AP) - Mezzo-soprano opera star Rise Stevens, who sang with the Metropolitan Opera for more than 20 years spanning the 1940s and 1950s, has died. She was 99.
Stevens started singing with the Met in 1938, on tour in Philadelphia. Among her greatest roles was the title character in the opera “Carmen,” which she sang for 124 performances.
The Met called her “a consummate artist, treasured colleague, and devoted supporter of the company for 75 years.”
Always one to chart her own way, Stevens turned down an early chance to sing at New York’s Metropolitan Opera when she felt she needed more study in Europe. She turned her back on Hollywood in the 1940s after roles in two successful films because she loved opera so. And in 1961, she retired from performing opera, saying she wanted to bow out when she still had a great voice.
“It always bothered me, these great singers when I heard them again and again, remembering how magnificent they sounded once and no more,” she said.
While she largely left performing behind, she remained active behind the scenes as an administrator of a touring opera company and as an educator, helping to foster the growth of opera across the country and the rise of singers trained in the U.S.
“While I was a young singer, people always talked to us about a golden age of opera,” she told the Washington Times in 1990. “Now they tell me that I was part of a golden age. It’s all a little ridiculous. We are actually living in a golden age right now, an age of great American voices.”
That was the year she was chosen for the Kennedy Center Honors, hailed as a singer “who raised the art of opera in this country to its highest level.”
Her earthy portrayal of Carmen brought her particular acclaim in the early `50s, spotlighting her acting as well as her singing.
She recalled that director Tyrone Guthrie “told me, think of your body and nothing else, from the top of your head to your feet.”
“I had to learn to move my body and feel like this Spanish woman.”
In those pre-PBS days, she made history of a sort in 1952 when her “Carmen” was seen coast to coast _ telecast from the Met to more than 30 “television theaters.” It was believed to be the largest audience ever to see a single opera performance.
Among her other celebrated roles were Octavian in “Der Rosenkavalier,” Orfeo in “Orfeo ed Euridice,” Orlovsky in “Die Fledermaus,” Cherubino in “The Marriage of Figaro” and Dalila in “Samson et Dalila.”
TWT Video Picks
Emails reveal an ugly American abroad out to bring down conservatives
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Al Gore's climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world