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Kathleen Ferrier


Although her career was tragically short, Kathleen Ferrier was being among the most famous British singers from the twentieth century. Her contralto tone of voice — a rarity alone — was seen as a a company, warm firmness that discovered its expressive market in the fantastic functions of oratorio and artwork song, in addition to in her two operatic functions (just two!): Lucretia in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and Orfeo in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Given birth to in Lancashire on Apr 22, 1912, Ferrier analyzed the piano with great achievement as a kid and meant a concert profession; her concurrent vocal research were considered even more recreational in character. In her middle-20s, nevertheless, after acquiring two first awards in the 1937 Carlisle Event — one for piano and something for performing — she made a decision to pursue performing as her vocation. She examined with J.E. Hutchinson in Newcastle upon Tyne, after that with Roy Henderson in London. Through the many years of WWII Ferrier toured broadly in England, attaining a popularity as a particularly fine concert musician. She became a member of the Bach Choir in London, and was alto soloist for the 1943 functionality of Handel’s Messiah at Westminster Abbey. Benjamin Britten initial put her in the operatic stage at Glyndebourne on July 12, 1946, within the premiere of his chamber opera The Rape of Lucretia. She after that toured with the task throughout Britain and appeared with an historical recording of main extracts from the task conducted with the composer. Britten would afterwards compose the alto component in his Canticle No. 2 on her behalf. She appeared in america for the very first time in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the brand new York Philharmonic and Bruno Walter; her following recording of the task — also under Walter’s path — remains a vintage. Walter also made an appearance as her accompanist in lieder recitals in Edinburgh and London. Another of Ferrier’s significant successes was the area of the Angel in Elgar’s The Imagine Gerontius. In Feb 1953, Covent Backyard staged Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice designed for Ferrier, who was simply deemed perfect for the section of Orpheus. Nevertheless, she could appear in just two of the planned four performances due to weakness due to her currently advanced cancer. We were holding her last performances; she passed away in London on Oct 8, 1953. Before she passed away she was produced a Commander from the Order from the British Empire.

Quick Facts

Date Of Birth April 22, 1912
Died October 8, 1953, London, United Kingdom
Profession Opera Singer
Education Leiden University
Nationality English
Music Songs Blow the Wind Southerly, What Is Life?, The Keel Row, Ombra Mai Fu, Art Thou Troubled?, He was Despised, O rest in the Lord, I Have a Bonnet Trimmed With Blue, Du bist die Ruh', Die Junge Nonne, An Die Musik, Ye Banks and Braes, Der Musensohn, I Will Walk With My Love, Father of Heaven, Botschaft, Op.47 No.1, O Waly, Waly, Land of Hope and Glory, Kitty My Love, Um Mitternacht, Go Not Happy Day, Geistliches Wiegenlied, Down by the Sally Gardens, Rückert Lieder: III. "Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen", All is fulfilled, Come To Me Soothing Sleep, The Fidgety Bairn, Silent noon, Drink to Me Only, The Lover's Curse, Come You Not From Newcastle, Willow, Willow
Albums Das Lied von der Erde, An English Contralto, Life Without Thee, Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice, Blow the Wind Southerly: British Songs, Mass in B minor, Brahms: Alto Rhapsody, Op. 53, What Is Life? Songs, Arias And Sacred Pieces From Purcell, Handel, Pergolesi, J.S. Bach, Gluck, Mendelssohn And Britten, St. Matthew Passion, The Baroque Repertoire: Bach, Handel, Pergolesi, Bach: St Matthew Passion, Mahler: Kindertotenlieder / Brahms: Liebeslieder-Walzer, Kathleen Ferrier: Broadcast Recital from Norway (Remastered), The Finest Brahms Recordings (Remastered), Kathleen Ferrier Remembered, Mahler: Symphonie No. 2 "Résurrection", Legendary Voice, Kathleen Ferrier: In Memoriam, Bach: Cantates, BWV 67 & 147, Extracts (English Version, Mono Version), Kathleen Ferrier Sings Bach and Handel Arias, Spring Is Coming, Kathleen Ferrier, Volume 3: Gluck Handel Bach Pergolesi, Gluck: Orfeo ed Euridice (1951), Vol. 2, Kathleen Ferrier & Janet Baker Sing British Songs (Recorded 1949-1962), Brahms- Alto Rhapsody & Mahler- Das Lied von der Erde, The Unforgetttable Kathleen Ferrier, Récital Bach-Handel (Mono Version), Kathleen Ferrier: "What is Life?" 21 favourites, Kathleen Ferrier - Her First Recordings (1944 -1947), The World's Most Famous Voices in Opera & Song, Vol. 3, Mahler: Kindertotenlieder - Schubert, Schumann, Brahms: Lieder, Great Singers - Kathleen Ferrier, Volume 2, Recordings 1945 - 1951, Gluck Opera Highlights - Orfeo Ed Euridice (Abridged) & Alceste (Selections), Great Singers - Kathleen Ferrier, Vol. 4, Recordings 1949-1951, Les grandes contraltos de la musique classique : Kathleen Ferrier, Vol. 1, Récital Bach (Mono Version), Bach, J.S.: Ascension Oratorio, Bwv 11 / Arias / Handel G.F.: Arias (Ferrier) (1949, 1952), Kathleen Ferrier, Contralto, Vol. 1, Great Singers - Kathleen Ferrier, Volume 3, Recordings 1945 - 1951, Ferrier Sings Bach: Arias & Scenes from Mass in B Minor & St. Matthew Passion, Have Mercy Lord On Me, Kathleen Ferrier: English Contralto Collection, Kathleen Ferrier - Das Lied von der Erde, Alto Rhapsody, Kathleen Ferrier Vol.10 - Brahms / Mahler, Brahms: Four Songs, Gluck - Orfeo ed Euridice (1951), Vol. 1, In memoriam (Mono Version), Kathleen Ferrier, Contralto, Vol. 2, What Is Life?, Hommage à Kathleen Ferrier, Great Voices Of The 20th Century CD3

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1 She was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium in Golders Green, London, England.
2 She was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1953 Queen's New Year's Honours List for her services to music.
3 The Kathleen Ferrier Awards, instituted 1956, are considered Britain's most prestigious singing awards.
4 Opera singer (contralto).



Waking the Dead 2007 TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Taste of Others 2000 performer: "I Would That My Love, Opus 63. No. 1", "Let Us Wander, Not Unseen", "Spring is Coming"
Lust och fägring stor 1995 performer: "Kindertotenlieder"
The Long Day Closes 1992 performer: "Blow the Wind Southerly"
Blakes 7 1978 TV Series performer - 1 episode
Mr. Klein 1976 performer: "Kindertotenlieder - Nun Will Die Sonn' So Hell Aufgehn"
This Man Must Die 1969 performer: "Vier ernste Gesänge" - as Katleen Ferrier

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

Kathleen Ferrier 2012 Documentary Herself

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