Maria Ewing, opera singer and mother to actress and Passing director Rebecca Hall, has died at the age of 71. According to People, she died Sunday after a brief illness.
Her family issued a statement to People regarding her death, describing her as an “extraordinarily gifted artist.”
“She was an extraordinarily gifted artist who by the sheer force of her talent and will catapulted herself to the most rarefied heights of the international opera world. She was deeply loved, and her loss will be felt not only by her family and friends, but by all those around the world who were touched by her singular voice,” read the statement.
Ewing made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1976 and performed untl 1997. She married British theatrical legend Sir Peter Hall, the founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, in 1982. They divorced in 1990. Hall died in 2017 at 87 years of age.
Hall recently directed 'Passing,' based on Nella Larsen's 1929 book about two lighter-skinned Black women who are able to "pass" for white in American society.
Hall recently directed Passing, based on Nella Larsen’s 1929 book about two lighter-skinned Black women who are able to “pass” for white in American society. The film stars Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson. Hall spoke in 2021 about what the book and film meant a lot to her personally.
“Nella Larsen’s Passing is an astonishing book about two women struggling not just with what it meant to be Black in America in 1929, but with gender conventions, the performance of femininity, the institution of marriage, the responsibilities of motherhood and the ways in which all of those forces intersect,” she said. She also talked about how she found the book “at a time when I was trying to reckon creatively with some of my personal family history, and the mystery surrounding my bi-racial grandfather on my American mother’s side.”
Our thoughts are with Ewing’s loved ones at this time.