Kathleen Battle might not be much for interviews but she shows an endearing sisterly attitude toward up-and-coming singers. Teenage soprano Emily Helenbrook sent in this picture of herself with the celebrated diva, who is singing spirituals on Friday night with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.
The picture was taken at a reception following Kathleen Battle's 2005 recital at UB's Center for the Arts.
Emily was 10. She writes: "She was the first singer I ever heard in concert, and she encouraged me to pursue music and my voice. She was so kind and her warmth, generosity, and sincere encouragement gave me the inspiration to pursue music as a career. I followed her advice, and my excitement and honor to be on the same season with the BPO as her is unparalleled."
Kathleen Battle is singing at 8 p.m. Friday at Kleinhans Music Hall. Emily Helenbrook sang there in December during the Classical Christmas Concert with the BPO and Music Director JoAnn Falletta. Here is a picture of that.
Kathleen Battle's enthusiasm and kindness paid off!
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-- Mary Kunz Goldman