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Classical 101

Happy Birthday Marilyn Horne

I could never choose just one Marilyn Horne recording or the memory of just one performance. Among my favorite performances of Horne are:

  • Orfeo at Tanglewood.
  • The Verdi Requiem in Carnegie Hall.
  • Carmen and Isabella, the lady from Algiers at the Met.
  • A recital in Boston's Symphony Hall when I was a kid. 
  • Rosina in The Barber of Seville. 
  • Copland's  Old American Songs at Carnegie Hall with Bernstein — the first such to raise money to fight AIDS.
  • A London performance of Messiah in Mozart's orchestration is a favorite of mine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mnc31XdaiQ Then there is when she told Johnnie Carson, "No fat cracks, please," and threatened to give Tony Randall a fat lip on The Odd Couple I've met Horne a few times. She was the guest quiz master on one of my last gigs with the lamented Metropolitan Opera Quiz.  Her first words off-mike were "Call me Jackie." Today Marilyn Horne is a teacher and mentor. I'm happy to know that at this writing she is being very good indeed, generous, supportive, maternal to a dear friend of mine who is battling cancer. "Miss Horne calls me every day." I'm sure she's helped many people in need-but you'll never hear that from her. So hear it from me. Happy birthday, gracious lady. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i-X4IJzkNM

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.