My heart is full, sharing both my own good times and constant growth alongside those of my students. The reason I have been able to teach and continually move forward is because of the "Giants" who went before me. I was fortunate enough to have witnessed and shaped my own gift based on the greatness of these Magical Artists. Their passing has left a tremendous void that for me can never be filled.
This past Friday, we lost Shirley Verrett, who gave us flawless performances at the Met and other great houses in the world; she was truly a Mezzo Soprano who was one of the best of the best. Two or three weeks ago we lost Joan Sutherland, who defined the dramatic coloratura heroines of the Bel Canto repertoire like no one else in modern times.
Think of our losses this year and over the past few years: James Brown; Luciano Pavarotti; Lena Horne; Lou Rawls; Benny Powell; Giuseppi Taddei; and Giulietta Simionato to name a few.
They have left a void that is unmistakable, the Magic they created cannot truly be captured and experienced on the two dimensional DVD and Youtube venues, etc. But were it not for them our youth would not have a clue as to what I speak of concerning the Golden Ages of Jazz, Bel Canto, and Musical Theatre--the men and women who defined it and caused others like myself to strive for their quality of excellence.
Because your passings are so recent I must say, Miss Verrett and Miss Sutherland, you are most sorely missed and I, for one, truly feel the loss and The Void.