A Singer in Flower

Angela Brown as herself and in the title role of Aïda at the Metropolitan Opera.

Is there anyone who wouldn’t like to be there when an unknown artist becomes famous overnight?

Marlane Linepensel ’07 is in that happy position. When Angela Brown was announced last year as the Great Artist Series performer for 2005, Marlane already had discovered her—and without having read the New York Times announcement: “At last, an Aïda!”

Brown will sing a recital of opera arias (including “Ritorna vincitor!” from Aïda) and songs by African-American composers such as William Grant Still and Undine Smith Moore at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 9, in Foy Hall. Tickets and information: Ext. 1650.

Marlane, from Washington, N.J., had never attended an opera before her freshman year at Moravian. But she had seen the Tim Rice-Elton John rock version of Aïda on Broadway when she was in high school. So in January 2005, she went to see the Opera Company of Philadelphia production of the Verdi opera Aïda. And it starred Angela Brown.

Brown is a late bloomer. She did not win the Metropolitan Opera national auditions until her fourth try, when she was 33, the cutoff age for women singers. She was hired by the Met for the 2004 season as a “cover”—someone who fills in when a listed singer cannot perform.

On November 2, she stepped into the last act of Aïda for an ailing Andrea Gruber and won a roaring ovation for singing the hardest music in the opera, the duet “O terra, addio,” with its sustained high soft notes.

She also won the New York Times accolade.

When she sang in Philadelphia, two months later, Marlane said, Brown was “just fantastic . . . with incredible stage presence.

“What I noticed about her voice was that it was very sweet. It had a lot of color, and it didn’t sound like that operatic-soprano voice.”

Which proves that Marlane has good ears, for the New York Times’ critic, Anne Midgette, said almost the same thing: “a big, warm voice capable of trumpeting high notes or beautiful, melting soft ones.”

“The blood of Verdi courses through your veins,’’ voice teacher Virginia Zeani told Angela Brown.

“I never wanted to be what I would have described as a screechy soprano” Brown says. “And now I’m a soprano. I hope I’m not so screechy.’’

November 1, 2005

A Singer in Flower:
Moravian student gets a preview of Great Artist Angela Brown.

Conference Call:
Moravian football joins a new athletic conference.

What's in a Name? and
Coffeehouse Rules:

Reeves Library coffeehouse gets a new name.

Defend Yourself!:
Rape defense course offered.

Datebook:
Campus calendar.
Gaudeamus:
Faculty/staff/student accomplishments .