Friends and family remember Jessye Norman at funeral service

Saturday, October 12, 2019
News 12 at 11 O'Clock

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Friends, family, and fans of legendary opera singer Jessye Norman gathered at the Bell Auditorium Saturday for the star's funeral.

At the homecoming service for one of opera's biggest stars, it was only fitting for it to be filled with spirit, love, and of course, music.

"She was so generous. Generous of spirit and open to everybody. There was really nobody like her at all," said photographer Carol Friedman.

Friedman was a friend of Norman's and spoke at the funeral today. Many of the photographs present were taken by her.

Dimitris Skokos was also a dear friend. He spoke at the service as well.

"Just to simplify things, for me, Jessye represents American greatness," he said.

Friends like Friedman and Skokos say they'll remember times shared with Jessye for the rest of their lives. But even beyond that, Norman's legacy lives on in the voices of the students at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts.

"Whenever she saw the children, it didn't matter what condition she might be or how serious the matter, her arms would envelop them with love," said Kathleen Scott, who sits on the Board of Directors for the Jessye Norman School of the Arts.

For people like Scott, Saturday's four-hour service with nearly 20 speakers and several musical theater tributes was a testament to the impact Jessye made on those around her.

"It brings tears behind my eyeballs with joy, how they appreciate her," said Scott.

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