Dame Felicity Joan Palmer,(born 6 April 1944), is an English mezzo-soprano and music professor. She sang soprano roles until 1983.
Palmer was born in Cheltenham and educated at Erith Grammar School, now named Erith School. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and under Marianne Schech's guidance at the Munich College for Music and Theatre. In April 1970, she won first prize in the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship. She made her operatic debut in 1971 as Dido in Dido and Aeneas with the Kent Opera. In 1973, she made her US debut with the Houston Grand Opera and her Metropolitan Opera debut was in 2000 as Waltraute ( Götterdämmerung ).Having made her debut with English National Opera (ENO) in 1975, her performance with the company forty years later, as the Countess in The Queen of Spades, was widely applauded and described as 'mesmerising' and 'astonishing'.
Palmer has performed and recorded Gilbert and Sullivan operas, as Katisha in The Mikado for the ENOand the Welsh National Opera (WNO), Dame Carruthers in The Yeomen of the Guard (WNO) and Little Buttercup in H.M.S. Pinafore (WNO). In 1998, she played Widow Begbick in the Lyric Opera of Chicago production of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny . In 2003, she performed the role of Mrs Lovett in Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd at the Royal Opera House (the only musical the ROH has ever presented). She sang Venus in a 1983 BBC television broadcast of Orphée aux Enfers conducted by Alexander Faris.
Palmer is noted for her interpretation of the role of Madame de Croissy in Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites , which she has sung at the Metropolitan Operaand at the Lyric Opera of Chicago's first ever production of the work. She also sang the role in English with the ENO and recorded it as part of the Chandos "Opera in English" series. Her other commercial recordings include The Flying Dutchman and 'Love's Old Sweet Song, Victorian and Edwardian Ballads',1978,The Decca Recording Company:1997,L.P.;Belart,C.D.,(a Polygram Company),0 28946 14902 7:( John Constable on piano).
Her work in contemporary music has included the first Glyndebourne production of Péter Eötvös's opera Love and Other Demons , in the role of Josefa Miranda.
Palmer is a professor at the Royal College of Music in London. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1993 and Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to music.
Dame Janet Abbott Baker is an English mezzo-soprano best known as an opera, concert, and lieder singer.
Jessye Norman was an American opera singer and recitalist. She was able to perform dramatic soprano roles, but refused to be limited to that voice type. She was a commanding presence on operatic, concert and recital stages, associated with roles including Beethoven's Leonore, Wagner's Sieglinde and Kundry, Cassandre and Didon by Berlioz and Bartók's Judith. The New York Times music critic Edward Rothstein described her voice as a "grand mansion of sound", and wrote that "it has enormous dimensions, reaching backward and upward. It opens onto unexpected vistas. It contains sunlit rooms, narrow passageways, cavernous halls."
Shirley Verrett was an American operatic mezzo-soprano who successfully transitioned into soprano roles, i.e. soprano sfogato. Verrett enjoyed great fame from the late 1960s through the 1990s, particularly well known for singing the works of Verdi and Donizetti.
Dame Felicity Ann Emwhyla Lott, is an English soprano.
Dialogues des Carmélites is an opera in three acts, divided into twelve scenes with linking orchestral interludes, with music and libretto by Francis Poulenc, completed in 1956. The composer's second opera, Poulenc wrote the libretto after the work of the same name by Georges Bernanos. The opera tells a fictionalised version of the story of the Martyrs of Compiègne, Carmelite nuns who, in 1794 during the closing days of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution, were guillotined in Paris for refusing to renounce their vocation.
Anja Silja Regina Langwagen is a German soprano who is known for her great abilities as a singing-actress and for the vastness of her repertoire.
Margaret Valerie Masterson, is a retired English opera singer, a lecturer and Vice-President of British Youth Opera. After study in Italy, she began to sing opera in Europe. Returning to England, Masterson performed as principal soprano with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company from 1964 to 1969, becoming popular with audiences and participating in several of the company's recordings, as well as those of Gilbert and Sullivan for All and the BBC.
Susan Graham is an American mezzo-soprano.
Dame Margaret Berenice Price was a Welsh soprano.
Dame Sarah Patricia Connolly is an English mezzo-soprano. Although best known for her baroque and classical roles, Connolly has a wide-ranging repertoire which has included works by Wagner as well as various 20th-century composers. She was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 New Year Honours and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to music.
Catherine Dubosc is a French soprano. Born in Lille, she studied with Eric Tappy at the Opéra National de Lyon, before joining that company in 1985. She is well known for her Mozart roles, but she has also sung operas written significantly earlier (Giasone) and later.
Isabel Leonard is an American mezzo-soprano opera singer based in New York City. She is of Argentine ancestry on her mother's side.
Eva-Maria Westbroek is a Dutch soprano opera singer.
Anne Collins was an English contralto known as versatile operatic singer, praised for her "beautifully warm and wide-ranging timbre, and impeccable diction". In a career that spanned nearly 40 years, she sang a wide range of operatic character roles and other classical pieces, including standard opera repertory, premieres, 20th century pieces, art song and other music.
Monica Sinclair was a British operatic contralto, who sang many roles with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden during the 1950s and 1960s, and appeared on stage and in recordings with Joan Sutherland, Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas, Sir Thomas Beecham, Sir Malcolm Sargent and many others. She had a great gift for comedy, and sang in recordings of many of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, as well as in recordings from the standard operatic repertory.
Hanan Alattar is an American operatic soprano and actress who has had an active international career in concerts and in operas since the early 2000s. She has performed with many leading opera companies and orchestras in the United States and Europe, collaborating with such notable conductors as Plácido Domingo, James Conlon and Miguel Harth-Bedoya.
Jeannette Sinclair is an English soprano. She sang a variety of roles as a principal soprano at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, during the 1950s and 1960s. Her work for the BBC encompassed opera, oratorio and many recitals of lieder, English song and French chanson, light music and appearances at the BBC Henry Wood Promenade concerts, 1960-9.
Eilene Hannan AM was an Australian operatic soprano with an international reputation. She was particularly associated with opera sung in English, although she also sang in other languages. She was as well known as an actress as she was a singer. Her repertoire included Mozart's Pamina, Susanna, Cherubino, Dorabella and Zerlina; Mimì in Puccini's La bohème; Natasha Rostova in Prokofiev's War and Peace; Tatiana in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin; Marzelline in Beethoven's Fidelio; Mélisande in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande; Blanche in Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites; the title roles in Janáček's Káťa Kabanová, Jenůfa and The Cunning Little Vixen; the Marschallin in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier; Princess Eboli in Verdi's Don Carlos; Pat Nixon in Adams' Nixon in China; Wagner's Sieglinde and Venus; Salome in Massenet's Hérodiade; and Monteverdi's Poppea.
Elaine Bonazzi was an American operatic mezzo-soprano who had an active international career from the 1950s through the 1990s. A singer with an unusually broad repertoire that encompassed both classical and contemporary works, she notably created roles in the world premieres of operas by composers Dominick Argento, David Carlson, Carlisle Floyd, Gian Carlo Menotti, Thomas Pasatieri, and Ned Rorem. In the United States she was particularly active with the New York City Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, and the Washington National Opera.
Wilke te Brummelstroete is a Dutch mezzo-soprano. She has recorded Bach cantatas with John Eliot Gardiner and appeared as the valkyrie Siegrune in Wagner's Die Walküre at the Bayreuth Festival.