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Nancy Evans (Mezzo-soprano)

Born: March 19, 1915 - Liverpool, England
Died: August 20, 2000

The English mezzo-soprano, Nancy Evans, studied among other things with Maggie Teyte and sang first in the choir of the Glyndebourne Festival. Already before the World War II she took over also solo parts.

After temporary activity in the musical comedy, Nancy Evans joined the English Opera Group and dedicated herself preferably to the work of Benjamin Britten, who wrote for her the song cycle A Charm of Lullabies. At the Glyndebourne Festival of 1946 she alternated with the famous Kathleen Ferrier in the premiere of B. Brittenís opera The Rape of Lucretia in the title role, which she sang in 1947 also at the Covent Garden Opera. In June 1947 she appeared there in the premiere of B. Brittenís Albert Herring in the role that Nancy, which the composer had written for her. In Glyndebourne she appeared in 1957 in Zauberflöte, in 1959-1960 as Annina in Rosenkavalier. Later she was very successful as Dido in Dido and Aeneas in an arrangement of the Purcellís opera by B. Britten. She appeared as a guest outside of England, partly together with the English Opera Group, in Holland, Belgium, the Scandinavian countries and Switzerland. In addition she was sought-after concert and oratorio alto singer.

Nancy Evans led later the singing department of the Britten Pears School in Aldeburgh. She was in first marriage with the record producer and manager of HMV Walter Legge (1906-1979, who married after her separation with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf), in second marriage with the director Eric Croizier (1914-1994), who wrote among other things the libretto for B. Brittenís opera Albert Herring.

Recordings: Decca (complete opera Dido and Aeneas, 1938; Lieder), HMV (The Rape of Lucretia, 1947).


Source: Operissimo Website, English translation by Aryeh Oron (May 2004); OPERAlmanac Mailing List (by Walter R. Lonis, March 2004)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2004, October 2004)

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Last update: żOctober 19, 2009 ż13:09:49