From Development server
10 October 2014

Rita Shane, 78, Dramatic Coloratura Who Found Acclaim at New York City Opera and the Met, has Died

News Rita Shane ;g 1014

New York, NY, August 15, 1936 — October 9, 2014 

Rita Shane, a dramatic coloratura who was much admired for her performances at New York City Opera, the Metropolitan Opera and other theaters, has died. She was 78. 

Shane studied at Barnard College and with Beverley Peck Johnson.  She was a member of the apprentice program at Santa Fe Opera before making her debut as Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann in 1964 at Chattanooga.  The following year, Shane made her New York City Opera debut as Donna Elvira in an English-language performance of Don Giovanni in the company’s last full season at New York City Center. Shane’s performances with NYCO at Lincoln Center in the 1960s included Madame Lidoine in The Dialogues of the Carmelites, Fata Morgana in The Love for Three Oranges, Donna Anna and the Queen of the Night. After an absence of a few seasons, Shane returned to NYCO in 1979, to create Aurelia Havisham in the world premiere of Miss Havisham’s Fire, by Dominick Argento; in later seasons, she sang Dircé in Medée and Giselda in I Lombardi for the company.

Shane sang seventy-one performances with the Metropolitan Opera in New York and tour, beginning with her 1973 debut as the Queen of the Night.  Her other Met roles in her eight seasons on the roster were Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera, Musetta, Lucia, Berthe in Le Prophète, Gilda, Pamira in The Siege of Corinth and Violetta.  In the U.S. premiere of Aribert Reimann’s Lear, at San Francisco Opera in 1981, Shane was Regan, a role that she later sang at Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich opposite Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s Lear.  Shane also appeared with Lyric Opera of Chicago, New Orleans Opera Association, Philadelphia Lyric Opera, the Salzburg Festival, La Scala, De Nederlandse Opera, Opéra du Rhin and Grand Théâtre du Genève, among other theaters.

Shane was a member of the voice faculty at the Eastman School of Music from 1989 to 2014. spacer 

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