Museum contents

  • What will you find in the Marilyn Horne Museum and Exhibit Center?

    • Full-size replicas of some of Ms. Horne’s costumes from her favorite operas

    In the Beginnings area, you will experience where Ms. Horne’s story started in Bradford and continued in Long Beach, California, where her musical training and opportunities could be nurtured in nearby Los Angeles. This section is brought to life through 

    • A vibrant medley of images and graphics

    • An exhibit entitled "Starting Out in California," featuring a clip from the film, Carmen Jones

    The Rise of an Opera Star area features four of Ms. Horne’s career favorites and most successful roles:

    • Arsace in Rossini’s Semiramide

    • The title role in Bizet’s Carmen

    • Isabella in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri

    • The title role in Handel’s Rinaldo

    You will be able to hear and see her perform in video clips from each of the operas, presented on video screens and with accompanying headphones in individual alcoves. Also, the costumes viewed in the Entry can be viewed at closer range, along with displays of some of her most prestigious awards.

    In Marilyn Talks, you can listen to a series of different audio programs in which she shares anecdotes on a range of subjects from her storied career:

    • The State of Opera and Recital Today

    • Greatest Moments

    • Peers and Presidents

    • Opera Favorites

    • A Rich and Full Life

    • Self-Belief, Determination and Persistence

    • MH Demonstrates Technique

    Once you leave the opera corridor, you will return to a series of colorful panels that chart the arc of Ms. Horne’s operatic career, including debuts at prestigious opera houses, such as the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

    The Theater/Recital Room will seat more than 30 visitors. An original 10-minute, high-definition feature video presentation will showcase Ms. Horne in performance as well as the performers who influenced her, worked alongside her and have been influenced by her. The Theater/Recital Room has a retractable presentation screen, programmable lighting, flexible presentation tools and connectivity, flexible seating, and a mural reproduction of Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy.

    In Opera: An Enduring Tradition, a proximity switch triggers large video projections of opera highlights from well-known and best-loved operas (including but not restricted to operas in which Ms. Horne performed) to showcase the variety of music, singers, costumes, sets and staging in the art form. This section also serves as an introduction to the opera-uninitiated as well as recapitulation of some of opera’s greatest moments for opera lovers. Also in this section are:

    • Touch screen activity: Stage an Opera

    • Touch screen activity: Match the Music to the Libretto

    • Display of Ms. Horne’s annotated scores with accompanying iPads

    The Voice as Instrument section features:

    • Audio activity: Is it Soprano, Mezzo, Tenor or Bass?

    • Audio video activity: MH Demonstrates Technique

    • Activity: For and Posture

    • Activity: Opera Karaoke

    In Musical Repertoire and Legacy, you will get an overview of the breadth of Ms. Horne’s repertoire. She performed opera, classical songs in multiple languages and styles, and American classical songs. Her expansive career and her presence in popular culture is further displayed in a collage of images, promotional posters, album covers and large-scale graphics, representing her in all of her many roles, from world-traveling opera star and recital performer to guest star on Sesame Street, The Tonight Show With Johnny CarsonThe Odd Couple and the Carol Burnett Show.