Marilyn Horne

Marilyn Horne

A Portrait

DVD - 2008
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Marilyn Horne is acclaimed as the finest mezzo soprano of the twentieth century. Her career has spanned everything from Grand Opera to light entertainment. Home's greatest contribution to music has been in developing the mezzo soprano repertoire of composers such as Rossini and she was the first non-Italian to win the coveted Rossini Medal. This programme looks back over Marilyn Horne's remarkable career. Specially-shot performance items, together with archive footage and recordings, demonstrate her magnificent vocal ability. At the heart of the profile is an interview in which the engaging and dynamic singer talks about her life and her music. The film visits Horne's home town of Bradford, Pennsylvania, and travels with her to Long Beach, California, where her family moved when she was eleven years old. Here she talks about her early days: singing in church choirs, making recordings for television sitcoms with the Robert Wagner Chorale, cutting pirate pop records and acting as voice double for Dorothy Dandridge in Otto Preminger's film "Carmen Jones." A clip from the movie displays Horne's astonishing powers of imitation. She touches on her association with Stravinsky. It was her work with Dame Joan Sutherland in the bel canto operas of composers such as Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini, that first brought Marilyn Horne major stardom in the mid-1960s. Dame Joan talks about the chemistry that made their performances together so special. Other contributors include her former husband and good friend, the conductor Henry Lewis, fellow American singer Samuel Ramey and her biographer Jane Scovell. Highlights of the programme include coverage of Horne's final appearance in a Rossini opera - Isabella in L'Italiana in Algeri recorded at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 1993 - and of the gala recital at Carnegie Hall in January 1994, which marked her sixtieth birthday and the launch of the Marilyn Horne Foundation. An archive clip recalls one of Horne's finest moments, when, as President Bill Clinton's favorite classical singer, she sang at his inauguration in Washington in 1993. Another side of Horne's vivacious personality emerges in a clip from the Carol Burnett Show, in which she features in a song and dance routine.


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