Merriman, Nan (1920—)

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Merriman, Nan (1920—)

American mezzo-soprano. Born Katherine-Ann Merriman on April 28, 1920, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; studied with Alexia Bassian andLotte Lehmann.

Made debut with Cincinnati Summer Opera (1942), Piccolo Scala (1955–56), Glyndebourne (1956); frequently sang with Toscanini's NBC Symphony broadcasts; retired (1965).

Known more for her radio performances with the NBC Symphony than her presence on the operatic stage, Nan Merriman was praised for her performances in all roles, large or small. Celebrated also as a recording artist, her performance of the contralto solos in Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde are considered exceptional. Merriman, who did not ignore popular music, also recorded American show tunes as well as excerpts from musicals. Despite these forays into popular culture, she was especially well known as Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, which she recorded twice. At age 45, she opted to retire.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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Merriman, Nan (1920—)

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