Born on 1 March 1954 as Lorraine Hunt to musical parents in San Francisco, the much-loved American mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson studied voice and viola in San Jose, and began her professional career as a freelance viola player. She moved to Boston and continued her freelance career, but also studied singing at the Conservatory.
She began to be really noticed as a mezzo in 1985, after singing the part of Sesto in Giulio Cesare for Peter Sellars at the Pepsico Summerfare Festival in Purchase, NY. From then on she worked with various major figures, including William Christie and Nicholas McGegan (with whom she made a series of recordings for harmonia mundi of Handel operas and oratorios).
Following a long battle with cancer, she died on 3 July 2006, aged 52, at home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Leaving a legacy of many recordings, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson will be remembered for her rich, dark voice, her musicianship, unconventional repertoire and integrity.
Ensemble. Thought-provoking - John Adams' 'Dr Atomic' in London, reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. Light and Sprightly - Handel's 'Theodora', reviewed by Robert Hugill
Ensemble. In Memory - Kelly Ferjutz remembers Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's visit to Cleveland