- Famed singer Leontyne Price has been an inspiration to Dr. Mary
Ann Kyle, a new assistant professor of voice in the School of Music
at The University of Southern Mississippi. At 17, Kyle first heard
Price sing in "Porgy and Bess" with William Warfield.
It was love at first note.
To pay homage
to this Mississippi legend, Kyle will present a faculty recital
titled "A Tribute to Leontyne Price" Feb. 7 at the Hattiesburg
Cultural Center. The event is part of the Downtown with the Arts
chosen to honor Ms. Price as an American treasure and one of Mississippi's
most honored citizens," Kyle said. "I also have chosen
music that reflects different elements of her performance career."
In 2001, Kyle
had the privilege of visiting with the Laurel native during Price's
last visit to her home state. The two sopranos talked about Price's
childhood memories, including Price's ballet debut in white tennis
shoes and a tutu. Kyle said the evening was an unforgettable journey
into her heroine's life.
longtime administrative secretary in the president's office at Southern
Miss, will join Kyle on the evening's program as narrator.
will be stories and anecdotes from Ms. Price's life and career that
Jewel Tucker will narrate," Kyle said. "I am honored that
she is going to take part in my recital."
Sanchez, a faculty member at Jones County Junior College and past
president of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association, will collaborate
with Kyle. Also joining the program are bass baritone Andrew Mark
Webb and the Southern Opera and Music Theatre chorus, a Southern
Miss ensemble that Kyle directs.
included selections on my program that [Price] performed on her
Carnegie Hall recital debut in 1969," Kyle said. "There
also are selections from the American Negro Spiritual repertoire,
a favorite of hers. She often referred to spirituals as the American
selections include two pieces from Samuel Barber's "Hermit
Songs"ones that Price herself premiered with Barber as
her accompanistand several arias from some of Price's most
celebrated opera roles, including "Tacea la notte" from
Il Trovatore, "Porgy and Bess," "La Forza del Destino,"
"Carmen," and "Tosca."
The 7:30 p.m.
recital is free and open to the public. For more information, call