Leontyne Price's goodbye - one of the greatest moments in opera history
May 31, 2020 4:46 PM   Subscribe

Leontyne Price is the legendary American soprano and the first African American to become a lead performer at the Metropolitan Opera. On Jan. 1st, 1985, at age 58, she sang her farewell performance on the Met Stage in the role of Verdi's Aida. In this highly emotional video from that night, she sings the iconic aria O Patria Mia and the audience responds with a rapturous applause. (slyt)

The NYTIMES frontpage review of the evening.
posted by beisny (9 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
That's the way to make an exit...
posted by jim in austin at 5:46 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]

That's lovely. I like the NY Times note as well. Thanks for the link!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 6:12 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]

I watch this sometimes but right now I think I'd crumble to bits. The moment where she, just for a second, is seen to break character and register the emotion of the moment is, for me, one of the most devastating moments of filmed opera. She is both an important personage in a historical sense and an exquisite artist. Her voice wasn't fully what it had been by the time of this broadcast but it really doesn't matter.

Here she is almost 25 years earlier, when her voice was among the most beautiful ever recorded.
posted by less of course at 7:05 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]

I wasn't at that performance, but I saw her in that series of Aida performances. It was quite something.
posted by holborne at 8:27 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]

posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:03 PM on May 31 [1 favorite]

posted by hypnogogue at 7:19 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]

That-beautiful-woman! That amazing voice and projection. Oh how moving. An amazing being.
posted by Oyéah at 8:52 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]

This Leontyne Price album cover led me to the work of Bradley Philips (scroll down), a precursor to contemporary black portrait artists like Kehinde Wiley. He did six portraits of Price, but so far I've only seen this other one, which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

("So far" because I just bought the last copy of Bradley Phillips Views on Amazon.)
posted by hydrophonic at 8:21 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]

...on review, while many of his subjects were black, I don't know if Bradley Phillips was. I guess I'll find out in a week or so.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:31 PM on June 1

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