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Norma Lerer (Contralto)

Born: 1942 (?) - Buenos Aires, Argentina

The Argentinean contralto, Norma Lerer, born and grown up in Buenos Aires, Argentina she visited the College of Music in Buenos Aires. As fifteen-year old she was already pupil with Maestro Iascha Galperin. Her musical training included singing, piano, harmony teachings and composition. Already soon after completion of her studies, she received the 1st prize as a best singer in the competition "Juventudes Musicales Argentinas". She got invitations to Europe and to the USA. In 1970 she was distinguished by UNESCO as a best singer of the "Tribune Internationales des Jeunes Interprètes". She won wins three international competitions: Prix Roosevelt de Paris (1st Prize), International SíHertogenbosch (2nd Prize), Concours International de Genève (3rd Prizes).

After first successes in South America, Norma Lerer sang in 1972-1973 at Milanís La Scala in Monteverdiís Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria. She continued a great career at prominent opera houses in Europe, and made guest appearances in Italy, France, Belgium and Holland, above all however in Germany. There she was engaged from 1973 to 1978 in the Opera House of Nürnberg, from 1978 to 1980 in the National Theatre of Mannheim.

Norma Lerer has sung on international opera stages: Milan's La Scala under Georges Prêtre and Claudio Abbado, Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires under Raymond Leppard and Fernando Previtali Theater an der Wien under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Maggio Musicale, Florence, Monte Carlo Opera under Lawrence Foster. In 1980 she sang with the Maggio Musicale Florenz as Dafne in the opera Euridice by Caccini (the first re-performance of this work since 1602). She made guest appearances also at the Théâtre de la Monnaie Brussels, at the Opera Houses of Cologne and Düsseldorf and in 1992-1993 at the Opera House of Lausanne (as Geneviève in Pelléas et Mélisande). Her stage roles include also Quickly in Falstaff of Verdi and the Witch in Hänsel and Gretel. In 1993-1994 she sang in Pelleas et Melisande with Peter Brook in Paris.

During this period Norma Lerer had great successes in Germany as oratorio and a broadcast singer. She made guest appearances as concert soloist in Madrid and in Barcelona, at the Nordweestdeut Rundfunk, at the Festival of Windsor and together with the Münchner Bach-Orchester. She preferred above all works from Baroque era.
She has participated in numerous concerts at the Salvator-Kirche in Duisburg under the direction of Professor Konrad Voppel as well as the Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) and other oratorios with Peter Schreier. In North America she appeared together with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and other orchestras of world-wide reputation. She has made international tours to Lisbon, Madrid, Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna as well as Zürich and Glasgow. In Glasgow she gave Lieder recital at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Arts.

Norma Lerer's first recordings, particularly from her concert repertoire, were already done in South America; on Philips she participated in the complete recordings of the operas L'Isola disabitata by J. Haydn and Tito Manlio by Antonio Vivaldi; on Erato in Pénélope by Gabriel Fauré; on DGG in La Dafne by Marco da Gagliano; on Telefunken in Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria by Monteverdi and in Castor et Pollux by Rameau, on Laudate in Bach Cantatas.

Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (July 2001); Norma Lerer Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2001, October 2004, October 2004)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




R.P. Émile Martin


Selection from BWV 232

Helmuth Rilling


BWV 155

Links to other Sites

Norma Lerer - The Argentinian Contralto (Official Website)

Norma Lerer (L'opéra baroque) [Photo]

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