Jessye Norman Shares Insights on a Creative Life

In a presentation on Wednesday, February 13, Jessye Norman discussed the many ways art and creativity strengthen the mind and the heart.

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

On Wednesday, February 13, celebrated American vocalist Jessye Norman employed her distinctive and expansive voice not to sing, but to share tales from her legendary career, life lessons she learned, and advice for those who aspire toward careers in the arts. Presented by the Winter Park Institute, the widely attended public conversation was hosted by Professor Emeritus of Music Edmund LeRoy and Assistant Professor of Music Julia Foster who interviewed Norman on her life as a performer and played selections of her greatest recordings for her to comment. Learn more about upcoming Winter Park Institute presentations and speakers.

 

Celebrated American vocalist Jessye Norman touches on the varied ways we participate in artistic experiences. (Photo by Scott Cook) Celebrated American vocalist Jessye Norman touches on the varied ways we participate in artistic experiences. (Photo by Scott Cook)

“We are gathered together as one diverse family to think, celebrate, and reminisce about some of the ways the arts enlighten and strengthen us. Art brings us together as a family because it is an individual expression of universal experience.”

Professor Emeritus Edmund LeRoy discusses with Norman why she sings a variety of styles and vocal ranges. (Photo by Scott Cook) Professor Emeritus Edmund LeRoy discusses with Norman why she sings a variety of styles and vocal ranges. (Photo by Scott Cook)

“I’ve said one clever thing in my life. During my first interview, when I was 23, the reporter asked what kind of soprano am I. I replied that pigeonholes are only comfortable to pigeons.”

Members of the Rollins community meet and greet with Norman following her presentation. (Photo by Scott Cook) Members of the Rollins community meet and greet with Norman following her presentation. (Photo by Scott Cook)

“Art makes each of us whole by insisting that we use all of our senses—our head and our hearts; that we express with our bodies as well as our minds. Art is your soul’s music—the art of your spirit.”

Norman (center) meets with Rollins music students in a private presentation at President Lewis Duncan’s residence. (Photo by Scott Cook) Norman (center) meets with Rollins music students in a private presentation at President Lewis Duncan’s residence. (Photo by Scott Cook)

“Allow the love of art to inspire love of fellow human beings. Imagine the harmony art could bring to our world.”

“Don’t allow yourselves to be limited. Allow your voice to develop, and it will show you what is comfortable and right. Decide there are no limits.”