Rita Gorr

Belgian mezzo Rita Gorr (born Marguerite Geirmaert on 18 February 1926 near Ghent) studied singing first in Ghent and then at the Brussels Conservatoire with Vina Bovy and Germaine Hoerner.

Two competition wins launched her career - the first in Verviers in 1946, shortly before her professional debut in Antwerp as Fricka in Die Walküre, and the second at Lausanne in 1952, which led to a career singing opera roles in Paris. Her career turned international in 1958 with an appearance at Bayreuth, and this was followed over the next few years with work at Covent Garden in London, La Scala Milan and then New York Metropolitan Opera.

During the period 1962-66 at the New York Met, she sang Amneris (Aida) 21 times, Dalila (Samson et Dalila) eight times, Princess Eboli (Don Carlo) four times, Azucena (Il Trovatore) three times, Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana) twice, Waltraute (Götterdämmerung) twice, and also gave a gala performance.

Gorr's long career singing French, Italian and German repertoire ended in 2007 with performances in Ghent and Antwerp, and she died in Spain on 22 January 2012, aged eighty-five.