Grace Bumbry - Recordings and Honors

Recordings and Honors

Of her recorded legacy, there's much from her mezzo period, including at least two Carmens and three Amnerises (possibly her most frequently performed role onstage and most frequently recorded), Venus (with Anja Silja as Elisabeth, at the 1962 Bayreuth Festival), Eboli and Orfeo. There are no commercially released complete studio opera recordings with her in a soprano role, but there are recordings of live performances of Le Cid (with the Opera Orchestra of New York), Jenůfa (at La Scala) and Norma (Martina Franca), in addition to some commercial compilations that include arias in the soprano repertoire. Interestingly enough, many of these were recorded in her "mezzo period", in the 1960s (including excerpts of La forza del destino in German, with Bumbry as Leonora and Nicolai Gedda as Alvaro). She also recorded music for the musical Carmen Jones, based on the Bizet opera; as well as operetta (Johan Strauss II's Der Zigeunerbaron), oratorio (Handel's Israel in Egypt and Judas Maccabeus), and an album of pop songs.

Bumbry has been inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Among other honors, she was bestowed the UNESCO Award, the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Academy of Music of the West, Italy's Premio Giuseppe Verdi, and was named Commandeur des Arts et Lettres by the French government. On December 6, 2009, she was among those honored with the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors, for her contribution to the performing arts.

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