Battle, Kathleen

Battle, Kathleen,

1948–, African-American soprano, b. Portsmouth, Ohio. She studied voice at the Conservatory of Music at the Univ. of Cincinnati and made her debut at the Spoleto FestivalSpoleto Festival,
also called Festival of the Two Worlds, annual summer arts festival held in Spoleto, Italy. Founded by the composer Gian-Carlo Menotti and the conductor Thomas Schippers, the festival has been held annually since 1958.
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 in 1972. Battle came to New York City in 1975 to sing in a Broadway production of Scott JoplinJoplin, Scott
, 1868–1917, American ragtime pianist and composer, b. Texarkana, Tex. Self-taught, Joplin left home in his early teens to seek his fortune in music. He lived in St. Louis (1885–93), playing in saloons and bordellos. In 1894 he moved to Sedalia, Mo.
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's opera Treemonisha. In 1977 she made her New York City Opera debut in The Marriage of Figaro and a year later debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in Tannhäuser. She soon became a great favorite with opera lovers for her clear, pure voice. She is particularly noted for lyric roles such as Pamina in The Magic Flute. She also became a sought-after recital soloist. Over the years Battle also acquired a reputation for temperamental behavior, culminating in her dismissal from the Metropolitan in 1994 over alleged "unprofessional actions." She has since continued her solo and recording career.

Battle, Kathleen

(1948–  ) soprano; born in Portsmouth, Ohio. American trained, she sang with major orchestras before making her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1978. Her rich, seemingly effortless voice and vivacious interpretations on stage and in concert, made her one of the most popular singers with both critics and the public.