Grist, Reri, black American soprano; b. N.Y., Feb. 29, 1934. While still a child, she appeared as a dancer and singer in musicals. She was educated at N.Y.’s H.S. of Music and Art, and then at Queens Coll.; her voice teacher was Claire Gelda. In 1957 she sang Consuelo in the Broadway staging of West Side Story. In 1959 she made her operatic debut as Blondchen at the Sante Fe Opera, and then sang with the N.Y.C. Opera. In 1960 she made her European debut in Cologne as the Queen of the Night, and then sang in Zurich as Zerbinetta. She appeared as Despina at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1962, the year she also made her debut at London’s Covent Garden as the Queen of Shemakha. In 1965 she sang Blondchen at the Salzburg Festival. On Feb. 25, 1966, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. as Rossini’s Rosina, returning for the 1968-73 and 1977-78 seasons. Her operatic engagements also took her to many other music centers in North America and Europe. She also sang widely as a soloist with orchs. and as a recitalist. Among her other roles were Susanna, Adina, Norina, Gilda, Oscar, and Sophie.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire