Saturday, August 20, 2011

Happy Birthday: Anne Evans

"Immolation Scene"
Götterdämmerung (Wagner)
Dame Anne Evans DBE was born August 20, 1941, in London, England. Dame Anne studied at the Royal College of Music with among others Margaret Cable, and the Geneva Conservatoire. She was accepted into the conservatoire without actually having had any formal training as a singer. For her audition she surprisingly did Carmen. She started out as a mezzo at the Royal College, but one of her teachers immediately recognised her soprano potential. Evans made her debut as Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto 1967 in Geneva and went on to make her debut in a leading role in 1968 as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte at the then Sadler's Wells, later English National Opera in 1968 to critical acclaim. In the early years of her career, she sang many of the leading Puccini and Mozart soprano roles, like Tosca and Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro. In the late sixties she started to work with the lighter Wagner roles, like Elsa in Lohengrin and Senta in The Flying Dutchman, roles that became her trade mark. However, it was the role of Brünnhilde that would earn her international fame, most notably in the Wagner temple of Bayreuth in 1989-1992, a performance which was also captured on CD and video (now transferred to DVD), conducted by Daniel Barenboim. This performance also earned her an Olivier Award. She also played Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, a role

Wesendonck Lieder (Wagner)
often considered to be her finest achievement. Being a spinto soprano rather than a dramatic one, the voice of Evans has been one of the strongest influences on the contemporary trend of "less vocal brawn and more brain" in Wagnerian singing. Evans was created DBE in 2000. In 2003 she retired from performing to dedicate herself to giving Master Classes and to coach other British singers in Wagnerian performance techniques. Her last public performance was in 2005 in a comeback performance in Cardiff doing excerpts from her celebrated Isolde and other Wagner performances. [Source]

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