It's her 80th birthday - Marilyn Horne

Marilyn Horne - Carmen
Inspirational singer Marilyn Horne celebrates her 80th birthday today and some of her esteemed colleagues take to the stage at Carnegie Hall tonight to celebrate her contribution to the Art of Song.  The cast list itself is a tribute to the Diva in it's own right.

Form me, Marilyn Horne will always be Carmen.  While there are so many other brilliant recordings, it's the smoky, almost masculine sound to her mezzo that I constantly return to in Carmen recordings.  That and her larger than life interpretation coupled with the musical direction of Leonard Bernstein.

Of course, she is mostly noted for her incredible technical skills and mastery of the Bel Canto repertoire and deservedly so.  It may surprise you to hear however, that she rose to prominence in her early career in roles like Marie from Wozzeck and Jocasta in Oedipo Re by Stravinsky, who in fact was one of the first to recognise her innate talent.

Marilyn Horne continues her contribution to the Operatic Art to this day by coaching young singers through masterclasses and by establishing the Marilyn Horne Foundation which seeks to preserve the Art of Song Recitals.

Last year as a birthday tribute I posted her singing 'C is for Cookie' from Sesame Street, which you can view here.  This year however, Carmen seems all the more appropriate, especially after finding the photo above.  Below is Marilyn Horne singing the Habanera, from her legendary DG recording from 1974.  

Revel in her glorious delivery and enjoy one of the greatest Vocal Artists of the late 20th Century.  Happy birthday Marilyn Horne.