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Video Published: 05 Feb 2024

NEA Opera Honors: An Oral History with Marilyn Horne

In 2009, mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne was awarded an NEA Opera Honors award and sat down for an interview about opera and their life.

This interview was originally posted by the NEA on May 2, 2010.
The Oral History Project is supported by the Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Charitable Foundation. 

Marilyn Horne, mezzo-soprano

Marilyn Horne, one of the leading mezzo-sopranos of her generation, set a new standard and expanded the repertoire for generations of mezzos to come. Beginning in the 1960s, she established herself worldwide as a brilliant bel canto interpreter, particularly in operas by Handel and Rossini, many of which she rescued from near obscurity. Equally celebrated for her concert and recital singing, Marilyn Horne has graced virtually all of the great opera and concert stages of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and Carnegie Hall. Through the Marilyn Horne Foundation, which she founded in 1994, young singers receive important training in the art of recital, as well as opportunities to perform. From 1997 to 2018, Horne directed the voice program at the Music Academy of the West. She is the winner of innumerable awards, including the National Medal of the Arts (1992) and the Kennedy Center Honors (1995).

Horne was a 2009 recipient of the NEA Opera Honors, a program administered by the National Endowment for the Arts from 2008 to 2011. The NEA Opera Honors recipients are now recognized in OPERA America’s Opera Hall of Fame.

Oral History Project

Discover the full collection of oral histories at the link below.