Alexander, Roberta, admired black American soprano; b. Lynchburg, Va., March 3, 1949. She was reared in a musical family; studied at the Univ. of Mich, in Ann Arbor (1969–71; M.Mus., 1971) and with Herman Wolt-man at the Royal Cons, of Music at The Hague. She appeared as Pamina at the Houston Grand Opera in 1980, as Daphne in Santa Fe (1981), and as Elettra in Idomeneo in Zürich (1982). Following a tour of Europe, she made a successful debut at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y. as Zerlina on Nov. 3, 1983; later sang Bess in Porgy and Bess and the title role in Janáček’s Jenůfa, a role she repeated at her Glyndebourne Festival debut in 1989. In 1984 she made her first appearance at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera. She made her debut in Vienna as Cleopatra in Handel’s Giulio Cesare at the Theater an der Wien in 1985. In 1986 she was a soloist with the Vienna Phil, at the Salzburg Festival and in 1988 she appeared with the English Chamber Orch. at the London Promenade Concerts. In 1995 she appeared as Vitellia at the Glyndebourne Festival. Among her other operatic roles are Mozart’s Fiordiligi, Donna Elvira, Ilia, and the Countess, Offenbach’s Antonia, Verdi’s Luisa Miller, and Massenet’s Manon and Thais.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire
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