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Opera singer being considered for Oshawa Walk of Fame

World renowned opera singer Teresa Stratas is being considered for the Oshawa Walk of Fame for her accomplishments on and off the stage. (Facebook photo)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

An Oshawa singer may be the next name added to the Oshawa Walk of Fame.

Teresa Stratas is an internationally known singer who performed with the New York Metropolitan Opera for 36 years until 1997. She has won awards such as the Grammy for Best Opera Recording, and for Best Classical Album.

She is most famous for her award-winning recording of Alban Berg’s “Lulu,” for which she won the aforementioned Best Classical Album Grammy.

The Oshawa born singer also spent time abroad, working with Mother Teresa in an orphanage, as well as at the Kalighat Home for the Dying.

She became an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1972, has multiple honorary degrees, and is on the Canada Walk of Fame.

Stratas, originally named Anastasia Stratakis, was born in Oshawa to a struggling immigrant Cretan family.

By age 13, she was on the radio performing pop songs before graduating from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Her nomination comes from Sandra Black, the executive director of the Oshawa Senior Community Centres, who asked city council to find some way to recognize Stratas’ accomplishments on behalf of Oshawa senior Marjorie Sorrell.

While the initial recommendation made to the community services committee was for staff to find a way to recognize the renowned singer, Councillor John Gray was ready with a solution: the Oshawa Walk of Fame.

“The Walk of Fame is organized through the mayor’s office so that’s where it would logically belong,” he says.

His motion to send it to Mayor Dan Carter was in addition to the recommendation staff look into ways to recognize the 82-year-old singer.

While he supported the motion, Carter was quick to remind the committee of one thing.

“I’ll be referring this directly to Rotary because they’re the ones who do the Walk of Fame,” he says.

The Oshawa Walk of Fame, organized by the Rotary Club of Oshawa, was established in 2006.

It consists of a series of plaques along King Street in downtown Oshawa, honouring those who have made contributions to the history of the city.

The Walk of Fame contains the names of significant people in Oshawa’s history, such as actress Shirley Harmer; businessman and philanthropist Stanley E. Lovell; and former Governor of the Bank of Canada Stephen Poloz.