Ithaca College To Award Honorary Degree To Opera Soprano Sharon Sweet

ITHACA, NY — Ithaca College will award soprano Sharon Sweet an honorary Doctor of Music degree at its 114th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 17. Perhaps best known for her worldwide performances in the title role of “Aida,” Sweet earned her master of music degree in vocal performance from the Ithaca College School of Music in 1978.

“Her incredible career has always brought great prestige and constant accolades to our School of Music,” said the school’s dean, Greg Woodward. “As both a world-class performer and a dedicated pedagogue, she is the perfect realization of what the School of Music believes in and constantly strives towards.”

Sweet began her international career with a concert performance of “Aida” in Munich, which served as a springboard to landing lead roles in the opera houses of Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, Paris and Rome, among others. She made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera in the spring of 1990 in “Il Trovatore,” and in subsequent seasons she performed in such works as “Don Giovanni,” “Tannhäuser” and “Turandot.” She returned to the Met in the fall of 1999 for a staging of “Aida.”

Sweet has devoted a substantial part of each season to her appearances in concert, collaborating with such conductors as James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Robert Shaw and Sir Georg Solti. Her discography includes recordings of “Don Giovanni” and “Lohengrin,” Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 and Mahler’s Symphony no. 8, and Verdi’s “Requiem.” Her honors include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation and the Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year from the Dallas Opera Company.

Since 1999 Sweet has been on the voice faculty of Westminster Choir College (which from 1929 to 1932 was part of Ithaca College). She is in frequent demand to judge international competitions and to lead master classes. In 2008 she sang the soprano solo with musicians from the Ithaca College Choir, Chorus, Women’s Chorale and Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Verdi’s “Requiem” at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.

Originally published in News Releases: Ithaca College To Award Honorary Degree To Opera Soprano Sharon Sweet.