HomeOperaKathleen Battle Sings “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Vilja-Lied” Carl January 14, 2013 Opera 3 Comments James Gandolfini is not the only soprano with a reputation. At least Kathleen Battle’s website likes her: Soprano Kathleen Battle’s luminous voice has been called “…without qualification, one of the very few most beautiful in the world” (The Washington Post). Yet beyond the glory of her singing, in a career filled with countless accolades, honors and major milestones, what has perhaps distinguished her most is her almost magical ability to create an unwavering emotional bond between herself, her music and her audience. (Continue Reading…) The Encyclopedia Britannica provides the facts: As a child and young adult Battle was both a good student and a good singer. She was awarded a scholarship to the University of Cincinnati College–Conservatory of Music in Ohio, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education. While teaching, she continued to study voice privately; when Thomas Schippers (then conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra) heard her sing, he hired her to perform at the 1972 Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. (Continue Reading…) Above is Swing Low, Sweet Chariot and below is Vilja-Lied, which is from The Merry Widow by Franz Lehár.