Obituary: Mezzo-soprano Maria Ewing Passes at 71

By David Salazar

Famed mezzo-soprano Maria Ewing has passed at the age of 71.

According to her spokeswoman, Bryna Rifkin Ewing died Sunday at her home in Detroit,

The Michigan-born singer made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1976 in the role of Cherubino and would sing 96 performances with the company until her finale as Marie in Berg’s “Wozzeck in 1997,” a span that also included a conflict with the Met over a “Carmen” telecast” and which saw her absent from the theater for six years.

She would make her first European appearance at the Teatro alla Scala in the title role of Debussy’s “Pelléas et Mélisande” and went on to perform at the Royal Opera and Lyric Opera House, among many other theaters. Among the major operas she starred in were “Salome,” “Così fan tutte,” “Carmen,” “L’Incoronazione di Poppea,” “Wozzeck,” and “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.”

In addition to recording many of these works, Ewing’s discography also included concert works by Ravel, Berlioz, Debussy, and numerous American composers. She also engaged with jazz music and appeared alongside Kymaera in London.

Ewing’s family history inspired the recent film “Passing,” which was directed by her daughter Rebecca Hall.

Here is Ewing in her iconic rendition of “Salome.”