Jessye Norman was born on September 15, 1945 in Augusta, Georgia, USA. She is an actress, known for Wild at Heart (1990), The Hours (2002) and Choke (2008).
She was awarded an honorary doctorate for her services to music from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the 1998 Commencement Ceremonies.
She was awarded the American National Medal of the Arts on February 25, 2010 at the White House in Washington D.C. for her services and contributions to music.
Personal Quotes (5)
[on what is on her mind whilst performing] I think about the words, I think about the characters. I think what a pleasure it is to sing some of the text that I have. I am so grateful to to be saying those words, they're so beautiful.
There is a lot of propaganda about opera singers not being able to act. That's not necessarily true and hasn't been true for a long time. And certainly, there are those instances when singers were told they need to fit into a certain size dress. Of course, women. Men? They just make the costumes bigger.
What I find today is that students, whether they are instrumentalists or singers, are so glued to the page, so glued to notes, they don't get that within all of that they need to make music.
I would like to go to symphony orchestras in [America] and see the orchestra look more like the demographics that they're meant to serve. I would like to see more African-American singers as part of our opera companies.n
[on her memoir 'Stand Up Straight and Sing'] I've made a lot of commencement speeches, 'yes, do get on with our lives and be really be good citizens' kinds of speeches. But what I really wanted to do with this book was to talk about the nurturing and nourishing that is needed - not just by people who go into the performing arts - but by all off us.