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Photos © C. McKinnon
The song continues.... 2000
America's Grand Dame of Song Celebrates Birthday with an Afternoon of Song at Carnegie Hall
And some of today's most notable singers and accompanists were there to sing and to pay tribute to one of opera's most beloved. The occasion was a celebration of Marilyn Horne and the foundation that bears her name, founded by her to nurture the art of the vocal recital. One could say it was a variety show to write home about - of works by composers both living and long gone (from William Bolcom, whose song The Digital Wonder Watch made its world premiere, to Brahms to Rossini to Peri among others) - tearful, tuneful, joyful, funny - sung by a full register of voices (from Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel to American tenor Jerry Hadley and counter-tenor David Daniels, from dark-toned Dolora Zajick to Renee Fleming of the golden sound, to name the well-known), with famed accompanists Martin Katz and Warren Jones on the piano.

The second half of the program began with a tribute to Ms. Horne, led by renowned violinist Isaac Stern - the savior of Carnegie Hall and now its president, which included the reading of a mayoral proclamation designating Sunday, January 16 as Marilyn Horne Foundation Day in New York City, and the presentation by Mr. Stern (shown in above photos) of an autographed manuscript of a Rossini aria (Ms. Horne was of course her generation's foremost Rossini interpreter). The singers then filed back on stage for the informal part of the program and took their places at small tables around the piano. Announcing the title from the stage, each sang a number from the popular/folk song repertoire. And the Met's artistic director James Levine who conducted Ms. Horne in many an opera at the Met made a cameo appearance on the piano. The program ended with Ms. Horne singing from Irving Berlin's Always which Martin Katz soon deftly turned into the Happy Birthday song. The audience joined in the singing and happily had the last word. What a wonderful birthday celebration and, as the pictures show, Ms. Horne who sang more than any other was clearly delighted.
About the Marilyn Horne Foundation

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