Kathleen Turner to make Met debut
NEW YORK — One of acting’s most distinctive voices will make an unexpected Metropolitan Opera debut.
Kathleen Turner, known for words that smoke rather than shimmer, is joining the cast of Gaetano Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment” in the non-singing role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp, the Met said Thursday.
She received an unexpected email this summer from Met general manager Peter Gelb proposing the idea. Asked to describe her voice, Turner terms it “kind of baritone.”
“Peter says I’m one of the few women he knows who can sing ‘Ol’ Man River’ in the original key,” she said during an interview Wednesday with her distinctive, throaty laugh.
An Academy Award- and Tony Award-nominated actress, the 64-year-old Turner will appear in seven performances of the comic opera from Feb. 7 to March 2, the last televised to movie theaters around the world in high definition.
“I was thinking of interesting, bigger-than-life personalities, and Kathleen came to mind, Gelb said.
Turner received an Academy Award nomination for “Peggy Sue Got Married” in 1997 and Tony nominations for Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in 1990 and Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in 2005.
The Duchess has seen star turns of retired and semiretired singers, actors and even a famous jurist.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a noted opera fan, performed it in November 2016 on the opening night of the Washington National Opera’s season.