Linda Sue Veres, born June 10, 1939, was a gifted singer, educator, and loving mother and grandmother. Her musical talents spanned all over Arizona from when she attended Tucson High where she starred as Lalume in Kismet. She then earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from UofA where she studied voice.
A skilled operatic soprano, Linda has had the joy of playing countless lead roles with Arizona’s top opera companies and on more than one occasion has played the same lead role twice. Highlights include: UofA Hello Dolly (Dolly); Arizona Opera Co. Marriage of Figaro (Marcellina), Tosca (Tosca), City of Angels Opera Co. Marriage of Figaro (Marcellina); Southern Arizona Light Opera Co. The Sound of Music (Mother Abbess), The King and I (Anna); UofA Opera Theater Sleeping Beauty (Vindictiva), Mozart’s Abuse from the Seraglio (Constanze).
Linda has also performed as a soloist with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Although her appearances with them were numerous, one of her most notable performances was singing the role of Mary in a staged cantata of “La Fiesta de la Posada” from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. She was also the director and principal soprano of I Cantori, an opera quartet from Arizona that performed throughout the state.
His musicality and theatrical abilities have not gone unnoticed by critics. “Veres is another fine entity with as fine a sense of theater as she has of music. Linda as Mother Abbess, “The truth of the matter is that the choirs of the nuns, with Veres at the helm, are highlights of this production.” Linda took her talents to San Diego where she performed works ranging from Richard Rodgers to Verdi and Puccini. A reviewer wrote of Linda’s performance of “Vissi d’arts”, “Here is a dramatic singer, aware at all times of situation and character, but at the same time capable of conveying this awareness by means purely musical.” Linda’s performances have always been a highlight for the audience.
Perhaps even more notable than her impressive theatrical career is her work in educating children all over Arizona. Linda was quoted saying she believed “all artists should teach as well as perform” – and she taught. Beginning in 1979, Linda worked with Artists in Education through the Arizona Commission on the Arts. She would participate in week-long residencies with schools to put on shows, show children the joys of music, and teach the importance of the arts in schools. She also taught at Tolson Elementary School where she received the Tolson PTA Teacher of the Year award for the 1988-89 school year.
Part of Linda’s philosophy when teaching music to young people was: “Through singing we come into contact with ourselves. We get to know who we are better. Some of the most touching things I have come across are the countless letters from current and past students thanking her for her work with them. She inspired so many students through music, and her generosity in sharing her artistic gifts with children has been the most commendable aspect of her career and her life.
Linda Veres passed away on February 3, 2022 and leaves behind her son, Michael, daughter-in-law, Karyn, and two granddaughters, Kayleen and Karylin. She was endlessly fun, full of stories and continued to pass on her gift for music to her two granddaughters. They will carry his laughter, his gentle spirit and his love of music with them forever. She will be deeply missed.
Published by Arizona Daily Star on March 6, 2022.