Monday, January 24, 2011

Joyce Castle Celebrates 40 Years in Opera

"Joyce Castle reached a milestone last fall: Forty years as an opera singer. Forty years and 130 roles cast in her inimitable fiery bronze. From regional companies across America and Europe to the glamorous concert halls of Paris, Vienna, London and New York, the mezzo-soprano from Baldwin City, Kan., has made her mark with consummate musicianship and impeccable characterizations. No diva, Castle is one of those indispensable artists who keeps the opera world humming, a skilled
musician, a gracious colleague and a tireless worker fueled by a wry, oh-so-dry wit. Castle is not what the public usually associates with an 'opera star.' She doesn’t essay the great romantic roles of Violetta in Giuseppe Verdi’s 'La Traviata' or Mimi in Giacomo Puccini’s 'La Boheme.' She’s not the fairy-tale maiden of Gioachino Rossini’s 'Cinderella' or the fetching Rosina in Rossini’s 'The Barber of Seville.' Instead, Castle beguiles in other, equally effective ways. Since 1970 she has created lesser-known, sometimes supporting roles — the spurned wives, poignant mothers, eccentric old ladies and comic countesses that give an opera its color and often its quiet, sometimes fleeting poignancy." [Source]

Click here to watch a video of Kansas City Star photographer Jim Barcus documenting mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle at Kansas University and check out a photo gallery here.

Photos (left to right): Mrs Bertram in End of the Affair/©Doug Hamer; Nazimova in Dream of Valentino/©Joan Marcus; Elizabeth I in Gloriana/©Mark Kiryluk; Widow Begbick in Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny/©Clive Grainger; Waltruate in Die Walküre/©J. Hefferman; Lady Jane in Patience/©George Mott; Klytemnestra in Elektra.

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