The Met Mourns Risë Stevens

March 21, 2013

The Metropolitan Opera mourns the death, at age 99, of mezzo-soprano Risë Stevens, a consummate artist, treasured colleague, and devoted supporter of the company for 75 years. She sang 337 performances with the Met, including 124 of her greatest role, the title character in Carmen. Critics and audiences praised her plush vocalism and riveting acting in the role, which she sang at the opera house and on tour with the company between 1945 and 1961. She made her company debut on tour in Philadelphia in 1938 as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, a peerless interpretation of a role she would perform 74 times, a company record. Later that year, she made an acclaimed house debut in the title role of Mignon. Among her cherished roles at the Met were Dalila in Samson et Dalila, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice, and Hansel in Hansel and Gretel. After her retirement from the stage, Stevens continued her work as a tireless advocate for both the company and for opera as an art form, serving as director of the Metropolitan Opera National Company and of the National Council Auditions, advisor to the Young Artist Development Program, and a managing director on the Met’s board. We extend our sincerest condolences to her son and daughter-in law, Nicolas and Marguerite Surovy; her granddaughter, Marisa; and her many friends and admirers.

Listen to Risë Stevens on Met Opera on Demand.