To the Editor:

Thank you for the recent coverage of the Kennedy Center Honors. While we are still on the subject, it may surprise people to learn that no American male opera singer has ever won a Kennedy Center Honor. In fact, until two years ago, no male opera singer from any nation had received the award since it was instituted in 1978. Placido Domingo was the first male opera singer to be honored by the Kennedy Center. The year was 2000. Luciano Pavarotti was honored the following year.

Meanwhile, six female opera singers have received Kennedy Center Honors: Marian Anderson, Leontyne Price, Beverly Sills, Rise Stevens, Marilyn Horne and Jessye Norman. It is truly a mystery why Robert Merrill, now in his eighties and one of the great baritones of all time, has never received a Kennedy Center Honor. Could it be that the people who select the honorees are too young to know about some of our older artists who are national treasures?



Letters should be sent to: Arts Editor, Style Section, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. E-mail should be sent to Please include a daytime and nighttime phone number and an address. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.

Placido Domingo broke through in 2000 . . .. . . a year before Luciano Pavarotti did.