One of the most distinguished musical artists of our time, the singer Jessye Norman was born in Augusta, Georgia. As a ten-year-old child, she was spellbound by a recording of the great contralto Marian Anderson. Inspired by Anderson's recordings and autobiography, she resolved to become a classical singer herself. At age 16, she won a full scholarship to study voice at Howard University. After graduate music studies at Peabody Conservatory, she went to Europe, where she was soon discovered by the Continent's leading conductors and impresarios. She made her operatic debut in Tannhauser at Berlin's Deutsche Oper. A dramatic soprano with a special affinity for the German repertoire, she has won acclaim in the operas of Wagner and Richard Strauss. Equally at home in French and Italian, she has enchanted audiences as Bizet's Carmen and as Mozart's Countess Almaviva. In addition to her concert roles. Her recitals and recordings have included American spirituals, French chansons and German lieder. From Haydn to Mahler to Schoenberg and Berg, from Satie and Poulenc to Gershwin and Bernstein, the range of Jessye Norman’s musical reach is breathtaking. She has conquered stages from Lincoln Center to Covent Garden, Carnegie Hall to the Musikverein, from La Scala to the Paris Opera and the Vienna State Opera, from Tokyo to San Francisco, Houston and Boston, from Granada to Graz and from Salzburg to Hong Kong. For the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera's centennial season, she made history by singing the roles of both Cassandra and Dido in Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz. In 1989, she was chosen to embody the spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity, singing "La Marseillaise" during the bicentennial celebration of the French Revolution at the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Jessye Norman was interviewed by the Academy of Achievement in Washington, D.C. on July 22, 2012. This podcast presents excerpts from that interview, along with selections for her performance at Washington's historic Ford's Theatre on October 18, 2011.