In the midst of everything else going on tonight, this news just in. Roberta Peters, who in my memory will forever live as Susanna, Zerlina, the Queen of the Night, Despina, Gilda, Lucia, Adina, Norina, Kitty and Anna in a production of The King an I in DC in 1972 in which my wife, Kimberly was also in the cast) just passed away.
No room here for an evaluation of her singing (I can always do that as comments on her many moments on You Tube or here on my blog later on), although let me be clear about my opinion: Roberta Peters was one of the great coloratura sopranos of the past century.
Her recordings are still around to prove it (check out her DG Magic Flute, her RCA Marriage of Figaro and Lucia), but what may be lost with her passing is a certain class and artistry also found these days, but not often.
In 1969 she sang Norina in at the Cincinnati Zoo Opera opposite Italo Tajo, and at the after-performance party at the home of Bob Orton, Pat Corbett announced to the guests that Kimberly and I had just been married. Roberta Peters took time to speak to us – two aspiring opera singers.
Years later she was a supportive colleague to Kimberly at Wolf Trap. Roberta Peters was one classy singer and one classy lady. Farewell!