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
Browse 1-25 of 32 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Yarlung Records: 10th Anniversary
    Label: Yarlung Records   Catalog: 42482 Release Date: 05/26/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Diego Ortiz,  Diego Schissi,  Jerome Kern,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Armstrong,  Petteri Iivonen,  Frederic Rosselet,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Margaret Batjer,  Gerard Schwarz,  Jeffrey Kahane  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ciaramella,  Sophisticated Lady,  Capitol Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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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  ... 
    CD: $95.49
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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
    DVD: $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
    Blu-ray Video: $23.99
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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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  • 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
    CD: $74.99
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  • 7.
    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! $39.98
    CD: $36.99
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  • 8.
    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
    SuperAudio CD: $248.49
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  • 9.
    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:  Nicholas McGegan,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Drew Minter
    Conductor:  Nicholas McGegan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Freiburg Baroque Orchestra,  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
    On sale! $31.98
    CD: $29.99
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  • 10.
    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
    CD: $17.99
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  • 11.
    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: $41.49
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    Purcell: The Fairy Queen / Norrington, Hunt, Pierard, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 55234 Release Date: 09/14/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Catherine Pierard,  Susan Bickley,  Howard Crook  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Norrington
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Classical Players,  London Heinrich Schütz Choir
    Recommendation
    On sale! $29.98
    ArkivCD $24.99
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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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
    Recommendation
    CD: $16.99
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  • 16.
    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
    CD: $15.99
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  • 17.
    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
    Recommendation
    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $16.99
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  • 18.
    Lorraine Hunt Lieberson - Songs By Mahler, Brahms, Lieberson
    Label: Wigmore Hall Live   Catalog: 13 Release Date: 04/10/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Lieberson,  George Frideric Handel,  Johannes Brahms,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Roger Vignoles,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Recommendation
    CD: $8.99
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  • 19.
    Harbison: Mottetti Di Montale, Etc / Hunt Lieberson, Et Al
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9200 Release Date: 12/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Harbison
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Georgine Resick,  Warren Jones,  Robert Shannon  ... 
    Conductor:  Scott Yoo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Greenleaf Chamber Players,  Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra
    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $16.99
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  • 20.
    Peter Lieberson: Neruda Songs / Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Label: Nonesuch   Catalog: 79954 Release Date: 12/19/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Lieberson
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
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  • 21.
    Handel: Giulio Cesare / Gall, Minter, Lieberson
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000725309 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  James Maddalena,  Drew Minter,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Jeffrey Gall
    Conductor:  Craig Smith
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 22.
    American Classics - John Harbison: Chamber Music
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559188 Release Date: 09/26/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Harbison
    Performer:  Emily Lodine,  Bill Kurtis,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Chamber Musicians
    Recommendation
    CD: $12.99
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  • 23.
    Lieberson: Rilke Songs, Six Realms, Etc / Serkin, Et Al
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9178 Release Date: 05/30/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Lieberson
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Peter Serkin,  Michaela Fukacková,  William Purvis
    Conductor:  Justin Brown,  Donald Palma
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Odense Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 24.
    Mahler: Symphony No 2 / Tilson Thomas, San Francisco So
    Label: San Francisco Symphony   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 11/09/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian,  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson
    Conductor:  Michael Tilson Thomas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus
    Recommendation
    On sale! $34.98
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  • 25.
    Handel: Arias, Etc / Hunt Lieberson, Bicket, Et Al
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 30 Release Date: 08/10/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Lorraine Hunt Lieberson,  Stephen Stubbs,  Margriet Tindemans,  Harry Bicket  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Bicket
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
    Recommendation
    On sale! $18.98
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