Battle, Kathleen

Battle, Kathleen, 1948–, African-American soprano, b. Portsmouth, Ohio. She studied voice at the Conservatory of Music at the Univ. of Cincinnati and made her debut at the Spoleto Festival in 1972. Battle came to New York City in 1975 to sing in a Broadway production of Scott Joplin's opera Treemonisha. In 1977 she made her New York City Opera debut in The Marriage of Figaro and a year later debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in Tannhäuser. She soon became a great favorite with opera lovers for her clear, pure voice. She is particularly noted for lyric roles such as Pamina in The Magic Flute. She also became a sought-after recital soloist. Over the years Battle also acquired a reputation for temperamental behavior, culminating in her dismissal from the Metropolitan in 1994 over alleged “unprofessional actions.” She has since continued her solo and recording career.

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