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Lorraine Hunt Lieberson

Biography

Born: March 1, 1954   Died: July 3, 2006   Country: USA  
The recipient of both awards and critical superlatives in the late 1990s and early 2000s, mezzo soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson was identified with the revival of Baroque-era vocal music specifically and with a deep capacity for emotional communication with audiences generally. Many who experienced Hunt Lieberson's performances in person came away with an uncanny feeling that she not only made operatic roles her own but also used them in the Read more service of self-revelation, of emotional truth.
Born in San Francisco in 1954, Lorraine Hunt was the daughter of an opera conductor father and a singer mother. Her father made her listen to Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera broadcasts on the radio and pushed her vocal gift forward, but for much of her life she was primarily an instrumentalist. She studied violin and piano as a youngster and then switched to the viola, later crediting the sensitivity to musical surroundings that violists must cultivate with influencing her approach as a singer. As a music major at San Jose State University, Hunt studied both voice and viola but gravitated toward the latter after paying the bills with a seat in the San Jose Symphony. She became involved in the Bay Area's freewheeling music scene, briefly moving to Mexico at one point after her jazz musician boyfriend was arrested on drug charges there -- she bribed guards to let her live with him in a cabin on the jail site.
In 1985 Hunt played the role of Sesto in a production of Handel's Julius Caesar directed by the innovative and controversial Peter Sellars, impressing observers with her hell-for-leather performance. A role in a 1987 production of Don Giovanni under Sellars, and the theft of her uninsured viola a year later, gave her a further push in the direction of singing. She specialized strongly but not exclusively in Baroque works, appearing consistently more often with top early music ensembles like Les Arts Florissants, with whom she performed Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie under conductor William Christie during the 1996-1997 season.
In 1997 Hunt appeared at the Santa Fe Opera in a new work, Peter Lieberson's Ashoka's Dream. She married its composer two years later, but faced renewed challenges after being diagnosed with breast cancer and losing her sister Alexis to the disease in 2000. After undergoing a double lumpectomy, Hunt Lieberson responded artistically to this new challenge, appearing in a unique staging of two Bach cantatas (Ich habe genug and Mein Herz schwimmt in Blut) mounted by Sellars in London in 2001. The staging involved a dramatic realization of Bach's grim themes of death. "There were tubes hanging out of me," Hunt Lieberson told The Guardian newspaper. In the early 2000s, after Hunt Lieberson and her husband moved to Santa Fe, she cut back on her schedule of live appearances somewhat but continued to impress audiences with the intensity of her performances. Her relative obscurity compared with other mezzos of her talent level was partly due to her affinity for the live stage rather than the confines of the recording studio. Having been somewhat secretive about her illness, Hunt Lieberson died, much to surprise of the musical community, at home on July 3, 2006. Read less
Adams: El Niño / Nagano, Upshaw, White, Lieberson, Et Al
Release Date: 02/19/2002   Label: Arthaus Musik  
Catalog: 100221   Number of Discs: 1
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Charpentier: Medee / Hunt Lieberson, Padmore, Christie, Les Arts Florissants
Release Date: 03/27/2012   Label: Erato  
Catalog: 663057   Number of Discs: 3
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Handel: Ariodante / McGegan, Hunt, Gondek, Saffer, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra
Release Date: 03/11/1996   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 907146   Number of Discs: 3
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Mozart: Idomeneo / Mackerras, Bostridge, Milne, Hunt Lieberson
Release Date: 04/05/2011   Label: Warner Classics  
Catalog: 48238   Number of Discs: 3
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Rameau: Hippolyte Et Aricie / Hunt Lieberson, Padmore, Christie, Les Arts Florissants
Release Date: 03/27/2012   Label: Erato  
Catalog: 666305   Number of Discs: 3
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Browse 1-25 of 45 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Handel Opera DVD 4-Pack
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4986 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Valerie Masterson,  James Bowman,  Dame Janet Baker,  John Tomlinson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Trevor Pinnock,  Harry Bicket,  William Christie
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English National Opera Orchestra,  English National Opera Chorus,  English Concert  ... 
    On sale! $119.99
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 2.
    Rameau - The Opera Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 636487 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 27
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Anna Maria Panzarella,  Mark Padmore,  Eirian James  ... 
    Conductor:  William Christie,  Jean-François Paillard,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants,  A Coeur Joie Vocal Ensemble,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $89.99
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  • 3.
    Adams: El Nino / Nagano, Upshaw, Hunt Lieberson, White
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101669 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Adams
    Performer:  Dawn Upshaw,  Willard White,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 4.
    Handel: Theodora / Upshaw, Daniels, Olsen, Croft [blu-ray]
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2099 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Dawn Upshaw,  David Daniels,  Frode Olsen,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson  ... 
    Conductor:  William Christie
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 5.
    Lorraine - Bach: Mein Herze Schwimmt Im Blut / Hunt Lieberson, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 96298 Release Date: 03/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Margaret Batjer,  David Shostac,  Brook Ellen Schoenwald
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Kahane
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
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    CD: $19.99
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  • 6.
    Avie Records - 10th Anniversary
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2265 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Enescu,  Gabriel Fauré,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Monica Huggett,  Gonzalo Ruiz,  Luiza Borac,  Charles Owen  ... 
    Conductor:  Monica Huggett,  Harry Bicket,  Imogen Cooper,  Vasily Petrenko  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Sonnerie,  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment,  Northern Sinfonia  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $74.99
    CD: $49.99
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  • 7.
    Handel: Theodora / Christie, Hunt, Upshaw, Daniels, Olsen
    Label: Glyndebourne Festival Opera   Catalog: 14 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Dawn Upshaw,  David Daniels,  Frode Olsen,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson  ... 
    Conductor:  William Christie
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
    Recommendation
    CD: $39.99
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  • 8.
    Charpentier: Medee / Hunt Lieberson, Padmore, Christie, Les Arts Florissants
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 663057 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Marc-Antoine Charpentier
    Performer:  François Bazola,  Isabelle Desrochers,  Mark Padmore,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson  ... 
    Conductor:  William Christie
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
    Recommendation
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 9.
    Rameau: Hippolyte Et Aricie / Hunt Lieberson, Padmore, Christie, Les Arts Florissants
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 666305 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jean-Philippe Rameau
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Anna Maria Panzarella,  Mark Padmore,  Eirian James  ... 
    Conductor:  William Christie
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants
    Recommendation
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 10.
    Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Norrington, Hunt Lieberson, Pierard, Crook, Bickley
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 0881922 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Catherine Pierard,  Susan Bickley,  Howard Crook,  Mark Padmore  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Heinrich Schütz Choir,  London Classical Players
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    On sale! $24.99
    CD: $22.99
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  • 11.
    The Mahler Project / Michael Tilson Thomas, San Francisco Symphony
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 39 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Michelle DeYoung,  Alexander Barantschik  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Girls Chorus  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $254.98
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  • 12.
    A Tribute To Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907471 Release Date: 08/09/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Nicholas McGegan,  Drew Minter
    Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Freiburg Baroque Orchestra,  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
    On sale! $34.98
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  • 13.
    Mozart: Idomeneo / Mackerras, Bostridge, Milne, Hunt Lieberson
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 48238 Release Date: 04/05/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Ursula Smith,  Barbara Frittoli,  Lisa Milne,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Edinburgh Festival Chorus,  Dunedin Consort
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    On sale! $42.98
    CD: $31.99
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  • 14.
    Berlioz: Les Nuits d'Ete; Handel: Arias / Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Label: Philharmonia Baroque (Label)   Catalog: 1 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz,  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $21.98
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  • 15.
    James Levine - Celebrating 40 Years At The Met [32 CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1135701354 Release Date: 12/07/2010   Number of Discs: 32
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Hector Berlioz,  Claude Debussy,  John Harbison  ... 
    Performer:  David Kuebler,  James Courtney,  Hanna Schwarz,  Clifton Forbis  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
    CD: $199.99
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  • 16.
    Monteverdi: Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria / Rene Jacobs
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 5901427 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi
    Performer:  Elisabeth Scholl,  Francesca Congiu,  Martina Bovet,  Claron McFadden  ... 
    Conductor:  René Jacobs
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Vocale
    Recommendation
    On sale! $47.98
    CD: $35.99
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  • 17.
    Lieberson: Red Garuda, Rilke Songs / Serkin, Conlon, Hunt Lieberson
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9317 Release Date: 05/11/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Lieberson
    Performer:  Peter Serkin,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Conductor:  James Conlon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orion String Quartet,  New York Philharmonic
    Recommendation
    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $16.99
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  • 18.
    A Festival Of Ballet
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 67063 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Holst,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  Susan Bickley,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Catherine Pierard  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Kempe,  André Previn,  Paavo Järvi,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $100.98
    CD: $76.99
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  • 19.
    Recital At Ravinia - Brahms, Handel, Debussy, Mozart, Etc / Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Peter Serkin, Et Al
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 907500 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bob Telson,  Claude Debussy,  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Thacker Burleigh  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Serkin,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Drew Minter
    Recommendation
    On sale! $21.98
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  • 20.
    Schumann: Kerner Lieder, Etc / Hunt, Ollman, Barret
    Label: Koch International Classics   Catalog: 7774 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Kurt Ollmann,  Michael Barrett,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Festival of Song
    CD: $9.99
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  • 21.
    Schumann: Frauenliebe und Leben; Brahms: Songs Op. 57 / Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Julius Drake
    Label: Wigmore Hall Live   Catalog: 24 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  George Frideric Handel,  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Julius Drake,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
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  • 22.
    Handel: Arias For Cuzzoni, Durastanti, Senesino, Montagnana
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908284 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Lisa Saffer,  David Thomas,  Drew Minter
    Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
    On sale! $61.98
    CD: $59.99
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  • 23.
    Handel: Famous Arias / Scholl, Roschmann, Hunt Lieberson, Padmore, Et Al
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908288 Release Date: 10/14/2008   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Georg Philipp Telemann
    Performer:  Dorothea Röschmann,  Ernst-Burghard Hilse,  Andreas Scholl,  Lucy Crowe  ... 
    Conductor:  Andrew Manze,  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin,  English Concert,  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
    On sale! $55.97
    CD: $27.49
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  • 24.
    Lorraine at Emmanuel / Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2130 Release Date: 07/29/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Jayne West
    Conductor:  John Harbison,  Craig Smith
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emmanuel Music Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $17.98
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  • 25.
    Spanish Love Songs / Lieberson, Kaiser, Et Al
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9228 Release Date: 10/01/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Sondheim,  Hugo Wolf,  Federico Moreno-Torroba,  Sebastián de Iradier  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Blier,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Joseph Kaiser,  Michael Barrett
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    On sale! $19.98
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