Metropolitan Opera Guild Salutes Marilyn Horne at 77th Annual Luncheon
On Monday, October 31, the Metropolitan Opera Guild pays tribute to the legendary American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne, one of the greatest singers of our time, at the Guild’s 77th annual luncheon, a perennial highlight of the opera season. “Jackie! Celebrating Marilyn Horne” will feature tributes from her colleagues; live and prerecorded performances, including a musical tribute by acclaimed mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe; and other surprises. Among the 800 guests expected to attend are a bevy of stars and fans of opera, as well as an array of New York’s society, business and civic leaders. Current Met stars Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt will be on hand, along with many Met stars of the past, including Martina Arroyo, Richard Bonynge, Roberta Peters, Renata Scotto, and Frederica von Stade. Also attending will be Miss Horne’s friends, such as stage and screen actress Tyne Daly (who recently starred to great acclaim in a revival of Terrence McNally’s play Master Class), TV and stage actress Florence Henderson, and famed soprano Marni Nixon (who provided the film singing voices for Audrey Hepburn, Deborah Kerr, and Natalie Wood). Proceeds from the event will benefit the Guild’s education programs in New York City and throughout the country.
Widely known by her nickname Jackie, Marilyn Horne is one of the giant figures of American opera, beloved by the public and critics alike for her incandescent artistry and ebullient personality. While giving definitive performances of some of the most important characters in the mezzo-soprano repertory, Horne also revived interest in many neglected Baroque and bel canto works, including now-revered masterpieces by Handel, Bellini, and Rossini. Her television appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Carol Burnett Show, and The Odd Couple (where she played Jackie, a secretary who secretly pined to be an opera diva) were for many Americans their first exposure to opera. She is also an impassioned advocate for the art-song recital, which she promotes through her Marilyn Horne Foundation, as well as with extensive teaching and mentoring.
Marilyn Horne discusses her remarkable career at length with WQXR’s Naomi Lewin in an interview available here, and in a broadcast on WQXR this Saturday, October 29, after Saturday at the Opera. Horne also recently shared her opinions about the Beatles and her love of professional sports in a lighthearted and revealing “20 Questions” interview posted at Playbill Arts earlier this month.
In recent years, Horne waged an intrepid and successful battle with pancreatic cancer – the disease that recently claimed the life of Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs – a further testament to the fearless determination that is such a vital component of her artistic and personal achievements.
The Metropolitan Opera Guild at a glance
For more than 75 years, the Metropolitan Opera Guild has provided substantial support to the Met and has greatly enhanced the public’s appreciation of opera in general. Since its founding by the pioneering philanthropist Eleanor Robson Belmont in 1935, the Guild has contributed more than $245 million to the Met. The organization runs one of the country’s most innovative and far-reaching music education programs, which impacts more than 1,800 schools and communities. In August 2010, the Guild received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s “Arts-in-Education” Model Development and Dissemination Program for its Comprehensive Opera-Based Arts Learning and Teaching (COBALT) project.
The Guild also publishes Opera News, the world’s largest-circulation magazine devoted to opera, and produces an annual series of major public programs, including the Opera News Awards as well as the Met Legends and Met Mastersingers series. The seventh annual Opera News Awards will take place in New York City on April 29, 2012 at The Plaza, celebrating the achievements of five extraordinary artists who have made an invaluable contribution to the art form: sopranos Karita Mattila and Anja Silja, baritones Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Peter Mattei, and director Peter Sellars.
77th ANNUAL METROPOLITAN OPERA GUILD LUNCHEON
“Jackie! Celebrating Marilyn Horne”
Monday, October 31 at 12:15pm
Grand Ballroom, Waldorf-Astoria, NYC
Musical tribute by Stephanie Blythe
For tickets, call 212-769-7009, or visit www.metguild.org