One of America's leading sopranos for over three decades, and a favourite with conductors from Karajan to Levine, Alan Blyth pays tribute.
I was present in 1952 at the Stoll Theatre in London when Leontyne Price made her London debut, virtually unknown, in a legendary tour of Porgy and Bess. I cannot say I recall much about the occasion, but I certainly have a strong recollection of her next appearance in London when she returned, now with a burgeoning career, to sing the title-role in Aida, at Covent Garden in 1958.
She felt and sang it with the instinctive rightness that comes of thorough training and innate musicality. Soon the role became her calling-card, including her La Scala debut in 1960 and her first appearance at the Metropolitan in 1961.
By then Price had established herself as the first .....