The Norman Transcript

News Features

April 21, 2013

World famous singer Marilyn Horne right at home in Norman



Eavesdropping on one late afternoon session in the Pittman Recital Hall, found Horne commenting on a student’s skills in no uncertain terms. This young opera singer was getting his tuition dollar’s worth in terms of blunt albeit invaluable constructive criticism.

During Horne’s evening master class in March she stopped a student mid-aria to demonstrate how it should be properly sung.

The difference in timbre, control and vocal majesty brought to mind the comparison of a solid 4-door sedan and a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow.

Horne’s instruction is in such a pleasantly matter of fact and caring way that most students probably never take offense. They’re receiving a caliber of instruction that most in their field won’t ever experience.

“I want these sessions to be friendly,” Horne said. “But I’m told that I’m very direct about what I say.”

You may trust that sugar-coating is involved.

“I like the quality of the students that I get to work with at OU,” Horne said. “It would be very distressing if they weren’t of a high level. I don’t think I could hack it if they were not.”

During an exciting career in opera and popular music, she hadn’t ever considered teaching but it’s readily apparent now the diva is a natural pedagogue. Horne had always been a student of singing technique, concentrating on refining her own skills. Currently she also teaches at Oberlin College, Manhattan School of Music and her main position at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, Calif., where she’s the chairperson.

“OU students have some very fine voices and I think it’s getting better all the time,” Horne said. “I’m told we have a wonderful group of people coming in this fall.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
News Features
  • March Against Monsanto Protesters rally against agro giant Monsanto

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Rain did not deter protesters at the March Against Monsanto in Bricktown on Saturday evening. A button on one man’s shirt was typical of the attitude of many of the marchers, “I’m one of those people,” it read....

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore Med Cent Groundbreaking Community still grieving but looking toward future, new beginnings

    MOORE — One year after an EF-5 tornado devastated a core area of Moore that included the Moore Medical Center, the community gathered on the site of the former hospital to reflect and remember those who were lost....

    May 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple mourns loss of young lives

    When the tornado hit, Dennis and Wilma Chastain were holding hands. On May 20, 2013, the couple left their home in south Oklahoma City in Green Briar Estates near Westmoore High School around 2 p.m. to make it to a 2:30 appointment near ...

    May 20, 2014

  • Interfaith group invites women to join

    Women of a variety of faiths brought prayers and dinner and shared peaceful dialogue recently at a Norman home. Malaka Elyazgi’s prayer sounded like a song tripping off her lips in her native tongue. The translation was equally poetic....

    April 28, 2014

  • DUal-state advance Tough field awaits Southmoore at dual state

    Southmoore’s history at Dual State is a short read. The totality of it is a first-round loss to eventual runner-up Muskogee by one point in last year’s tournament.

    February 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Myths about obesity

    The obesity epidemic is among the most critical health issues facing the United States. Although it has generated a lot of attention and calls for solutions, it also has served up a super-sized portion of myths and misunderstandings....

    December 28, 2013

  • How to tame an out-of-control kid

    Edith, a retired Capitol Hill staffer from Washington, was at the end of her rope last year over the mayhem her 5-year-old great-grandson Wayne was causing at preschool. “I was on speed dial” at the school, says Edith, who is raising two ...

    December 28, 2013

  • Experts decry ‘resolution dependency’

    One of the country’s best-known fitness center chains is launching an initiative to wean people from what it calls an over-dependence on New Year’s resolutions....

    December 26, 2013

  • The 12 annoying songs of Christmas

    It’s that time of year, when Christmas songs fill shops, restaurants and your home. While anything on repeat can drive you mad, these 12 tunes are some of the most annoying....

    December 8, 2013

  • Caring for a cut Christmas tree

    Cut Christmas trees must be watered and kept hydrated to last through the holidays and to prevent them from becoming fire hazards. This includes small tabletop trees....

    December 8, 2013