Recalling a Diva Who Refused to Be One

Acclaimed mezzo soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson died of cancer Monday morning at her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The singer, who was 52, drew praise from critics, fans, musicians and composers for her striking voice and her unconventional choice of repertoire.

Hunt Lieberson shunned the standard diva roles for early music and contemporary works. She was known for her musicianship — she began her career as a violist — and her integrity; she didn't seem to care about being a star. Six years ago, she canceled all of her performances to care for her sister, who was dying of cancer.

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