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Leontyne Price
Shirley Verrett dies at 79; acclaimed mezzo-soprano
Shirley Verrett dies at 79; acclaimed mezzo-soprano

Shirley Verrett, an acclaimed American mezzo-soprano and soprano praised for her blazing intensity during a career that spanned four decades, died Friday in Ann Arbor, Mich. She was 79. Verrett, one of the top opera singers of the 1970s and '80s, had been suffering from heart trouble, said Jack Mastroianni of IMG Artists, who was notified of her death by the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Born in 1931 in New Orleans and raised mostly in Los Angeles, where she sang hymns in a Seventh-day Adventist church, Verrett was renowned for her intense performances as a mezzo for much of her career and a soprano in her later years. During a long biracial marriage, she battled racial prejudice in a...

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