Eighteen years later, she reprised the role at the Metropolitan Opera.
Of that occasion, Don Henahan wrote in The New York Times:
The trouble with coming upon real quality at the opera is that it makes you impatient with anything less. That happened last night at the season’s first “Tannhauser” when Jessye Norman suddenly illuminated the Metropolitan stage with her second-act “Dich, teure Halle” and went on to create as vocally electrifying and dramatically moving an Elisabeth as that stage has known in years. Though different in almost every way from the Elisabeth of Leonie Rysanek, long the reigning soprano in this Wagnerian role, Miss Norman’s Elisabeth was on the same high level, up there where the air is thin and few singers survive.
This was the first Wagnerian part for Miss Norman at the Metropolitan and certainly should not be her last. A woman built on super-Wagnerian lines, she nonetheless looked imposing and regal rather than merely large. She exuded an irresistible magnetism that made it entirely credible that a word from her could stop a roomful of sword-swinging knights dead in their tracks. But most important, she showed what is meant by the familiar phrase “acting with the voice”: this was an Elisabeth who not only produced thrilling sounds but who made words tell in the manner of a great lieder singer. It helped, too, that her stage movements, economical and carefully controlled, were those of a sensitive, well-prepared actress.
Born on this day in 1915 singer and actor Frank Sinatra.