Chicago Humanities Festival to Welcome Opera Singer Jessye Norman, 5/19

Chicago Humanities Festival to Welcome Opera Singer Jessye Norman, 5/19

The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF), in partnership with Lyric Opera of Chicago, is pleased to present five-time Grammy Award-winning opera singer Jessye Norman on May 19, 2014 at 6 p.m. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (112 S. Michigan Ave.). Legendary soprano Jessye Norman will be in conversation with opera dramaturg Colin Ure to discuss her new memoir titled Stand Up Straight and Sing!, set to release on May 6. Tickets to the program are on sale now for $25-35 and can be purchased online at or at 312-494-9509.

"I am absolutely thrilled to be able to tell my own story, to celebrate my family's rich, diverse heritage and pay tribute to all those who have imbued my life with their resonance," said Norman. "I am grateful beyond measure for everyone who has ever said 'Let's get Jessye to sing.'"

Jessye Norman is one of America's greatest and most accomplished classical singers, with five Grammy Awards, dozens of international prizes, and a Kennedy Center Honor (its youngest-ever recipient) among her countless awards. She pursued music at Howard University and the University of Michigan, and achieved astonishing early success with a contract from the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Her career since then has reached from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera to concerts in honor of the Dalai Lama, the bicentennial of the French republic, and multimedia presentations of American roots music.

Stand Up Straight and Sing! details Norman's journey to opera royalty--from her musical upbringing during Jim Crow racism in Georgia, to her rise at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the ultimate recognition of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Stand Up Straight and Sing! is an inspiring memoir of an astonishing life.

Moderator Colin Ure was born in Glasgow, Scotland and studied music at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Following graduation he performed as a professional classical singer throughout the UK, and in 1992 became an artists' manager, where he advised, developed, and structured the careers of young singers worldwide. In 2005 he was appointed dramaturg for the Houston Grand Opera. Currently based in Chicago, he works as a freelance dramaturg and writer/presenter for the WFMT radio series Ryan Center Recital Series.

Photo by Carol Friedman

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