Originally created 02/13/98

Cyberspace shrine created by fan of opera star Norman

Jarrett Burch became a Jessye Norman fan after hearing her recording of Strauss' Four Last Songs.

"The voice -- it's really pure. Solid, but not heavy," said the research assistant at the Medical College of Georgia.

Mr. Burch, a baritone in the Augusta Choral Society, has dedicated a portion of his personal Web page to the Augusta native, who performs tonight at Paine College's Gilbert-Lambuth Chapel. He created the cyberspace shrine to Ms. Norman six months ago.

"I noticed that she wasn't well represented on the Internet," said Mr. Burch, an Augusta resident for 14 years. "I'd seen other fan pages and thought I'd give it a shot."

Mr. Burch doesn't think Ms. Norman has seen his creation.

"I haven't been served with any legal papers yet," he joked.

Access his Web page at A Jessye Norman Fan Page to see the information Mr. Burch has compiled on the opera diva.

It includes several images of the international singing star, her recital schedule, her numerous awards and accomplishments, including her recent Kennedy Center honor, a selected discography and videography and an image of Mr. Burch's autographed copy of the libretto of Ms. Norman's recording of Pietro Mascagni's opera Cavalleria rusticana.

The fan page recorded 365 hits in January, compared to about 50 in each of the previous five months, he said.

Mr. Burch also responds to online questions from curious Web surfers from as far away as Japan, Indonesia and England.

Asked if he is an expert on Ms. Norman, Mr. Burch responds quickly and emphatically, "No, no!"

Ms. Norman's concert repertoire tonight will probably include works by Ravel, Strauss and Brahms. She will be accompanied by pianist Mark Markham, with whom she has performed in Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Hamburg, Manchester, Philadelphia and Chicago this season.

Mr. Burch, who saw Ms. Norman in concert when she sang at Paine College in 1990 and once in Athens, wouldn't dare miss tonight's performance.

"I've got my ticket," he said.

On stage

What: Jessye Norman in concert

When: 8 tonight

Where: Gilbert Lambuth Memorial Chapel, Paine College

How much: $50 general admission, $25 for students of area colleges

Phone: Credit-card orders, 821-8317; general information, 821-8231


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