Lear, Evelyn (1926—)

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Lear, Evelyn (1926—)

American soprano. Name variations: Mrs. Thomas Stewart. Born Evelyn Shulman on January 8, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York; daughter of Nathan Shulman and Anna (Kwartin) Shulman; studied with John Yard, Sergius Kagen, and Maria Ivogün ; attended New York University, 1944–45; attended Hunter College, 1946–48; attended Juilliard School of Music, 1953–54; attended Hochschule für Musik, Berlin, Germany, 1957–59; married Dr. Walter Lear, in 1943; married Thomas Stewart (a baritone), on January 8, 1955; children: (first marriage) two daughters, Jan and Bonni.

Made debut in Berlin (1957), Salzburg (1962–64), Covent Garden (1965), Teatro Colon (1965), Metropolitan Opera (1967); received honorary title of Kammersaengerin, Senate of Berlin (1964); won Grammy award for role of Marie in Wozzeck (1965); retired (1985).

Evelyn Lear was born Evelyn Shulman in Brooklyn, New York, in 1926. A musician as well as a singer, she played the piano and perhaps learned her incredible breath control from playing the French horn. This ability made it possible for her to take on a wide range of roles from Mozart to Strauss. As a member of the West Berlin Opera ensemble, Lear made 33 recordings. She also appeared in Robert Altman's film Buffalo Bill and the Indians with Paul Newman, Joel Grey, and Burt Lancaster. Evelyn Lear was one of the few singers to have performed Sophie, Octavian, and the Marshallin in Der Rosenkavalier, Despina and Fiodiligi in Cosi fan tutte, and Cherubino and the Countess in Figaro. She also gave many performances of lieder until her retirement in 1985.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia