WMU News

Opera star Susan B. Anthony to receive honorary degree

Sept. 12, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- A 1975 graduate of Western Michigan University who has gone on to become one of the opera world's foremost singers, will have one more accolade to add to her long list of accomplishments: an honorary degree from her alma mater.

Acting at its Sept. 12 meeting, the WMU Board of Trustees approved a recommendation to award opera star Susan B. Anthony an honorary doctor of fine arts degree. The degree will be presented at a time still to be determined.

Anthony, who will visit WMU Oct. 2-11 as part of the University Centennial Scholar and Artist Series, was born and educated in Kalamazoo and began singing at First Presbyterian Church in her elementary and middle school years. She later sang in the choir at Loy Norrix High School.

Anthony earned her undergraduate degree from WMU, studying with Marcella Faustman. She sang in the University Chorale and performed in several opera productions, including "Dialogue of the Carmelites." She earned her master's degree from the University of Michigan, studying with Eva Likova, then attended the International Opera School in Zurich, Switzerland.

Anthony has since established a significant presence in the opera world, becoming a favorite of leading theatres in Paris, Tokyo, Madrid, Dresden and in Vienna, where she recently performed in Beethoven's "Fidelio." Other recent engagements include new productions of "Salome" and "Lohengrin" in Berlin, and appearing as Senta in "The Flying Dutchman" at the Bastille in Paris, and as Sieglinde in Wagner's "The Walkure" in Tokyo. Major roles include Tatiana in Tchaikovsky's "Eugene Onegin," The Kaiserin in Strauss' "Die Frau ohne Schatten," Leonore in "Fidelio" and Donna Anna in Mozart's "Don Giovanni."

Other recent performances include starring as Guinevere in Chausson's "Le Roi Arthus" in Bregenze, Austria. She was named "Singer of the Year" by Opernwelt magazine in both 1995 and 1997 and she has been lauded by critics the world over.

During her residency in Kalamazoo, Anthony will appear as guest soloist with the University Symphony Orchestra under the direction of professor Bruce Uchimura on Oct. 5 in Miller Auditorium and a recital on Oct. 7 with WMU professor of music and award-winning pianist Lori Sims in Dalton Center Recital Hall.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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