16 May 2019
|Deborah Cook as Fiakermilli|
Philadelphia, PA, July 6, 1938 — Welaka, FL, April 22, 2019
THE SOPRANO made her professional debut in 1965, as Lucia in a concert version of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Philadelphia Academy of Music and remained active in the Philadelphia area until beginning her international career, in 1971, when she sang Zerbinetta in John Cox’s staging of Ariadne auf Naxos with Glyndebourne Touring Opera. The following year, Cook joined the ensemble of Bremen’s Theater am Goetheplatz, where she sang principal soprano roles until 1980. Cook was also a regular visitor to Bavarian State Opera and Frankfurt Opera, as well as other important houses in western Europe, including Deutsche Oper Berlin, Berlin State Opera, Stuttgart State Opera, Leipzig Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Grand Théåtre de Genève and Rome Opera. Among the conductors who paced Cook in concert and opera were David Atherton, Pierre Boulez, Michael Gielen, Jesús López-Cobos, Charles Mackerras, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Nello Santi, Georg Solti and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Cook created the role of Rachel in Henze’s We Come to the River at Covent Garden in 1976. In 1977, Cook appeared at Covent Garden as Fiakermilli to Kiri Te Kanawa’s Arabella and sang Najade on Solti’s Decca recording of Ariadne auf Naxos with Leontyne Price. For Opera Rara, Cook recorded two Meyerbeer heroines—the title role in Dinorah (1979) and Prascovia in L’etoile du Nord (1975). In 1982, Cook created The Angel of Bright Future in the world premiere of George Rochberg’s The Confidence Man at Santa Fe Opera. In 1985, the soprano moved back to the U.S. and switched her focus from singing to teaching voice, although she remained active as a concert artist and as a cantor.