I’m very sad to read of the death of Ms. Norman. She performed with us in San Jose many years ago. I wish I could remember what was on our program. I’m thinking it was Mahler, but I can’t remember what. I’m sure a colleague will enlighten me.

“Why should one bother to be mediocre?”


  1. Sad news, indeed! She as one of the all-time great singers, and her performance with us was one of the peak musical experiences of my career. When she sang, it was a visceral experience I can only compare to the Andrew Wyeth painting of window curtains blowing in the wind of the open window. Like I was the window and her voice was the wind…

    I’m thinking you’re right about Mahler, but let’s see who else supports my failing memory…

  2. patti with an i

    It was Das Lied, I believe. I recall a rehearsal she attended, early in the week in the execrable downstairs “rehearsal hall” at the CPA. George was torturing a particular passage over and over, and after a time she very sweetly said that she needed a break and would sit out the next bit. She sat down, and he started us up again and proceeded to begin croaking out the vocal part himself… and she exploded up out of her chair and began singing again!

  3. I believe that was the second time she sang with us. I think the first time was Mahler 4.