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Anna Reynolds (Mezzo-soprano)

Born: October 4, 19311 or June 5, 1930 - Canterbury, England
Died: February 24, 2014 - Peesten, Markt-Kasendorf, Bavaria, Germany

The English mezzo-soprano, Anna (born as Ann) Reynolds, studied piano as a girl. It was to train as a pianist that she went to London to attend the Royal Academy of Music. While she was there, her vocal talent became clear, and she changed her area of study to voice. She went to Rome to continue her voice studies with Debora Fambri and Re Koster. It was at this time that she adopted the name Anna.

Anna Reynolds made her operatic debut in Parma in 1960 as Suzuki in Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Subsequently she sang in Vicenza (1961), Rome (1964), Spoleto (1966), Trieste (1967), and Venice (1969), and at La Scala in Milan (1967).

Anna Reynolds' British debut was in Glyndebourne in 1962 as Genevičve in Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande. She scored another major success in her home country in 1963, when she sang the part of the Angel in Edward Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius in London under the direction of Sir John Barbirolli in 1963. She made her first appearance at Covent Garden in London in 1967 as Adelaide in Strauss' Arabella. Another major Covent Garden success was her portrayal of Andromache in Tippett's King Priam.

Anna Reynolds’ Italian career continued to develop. In it she showed a great range of technique and style. Among her roles were Charlotte in Massenet's Werther, Elizabeth I in Bellini's Maria Stuarda, Rossini's Tancredi, Adelaide in Strauss' Arabella, and Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas. She made her Metropolitan debut in New York in November 1968 as Flosshilde in Das Rheingold, and returned there in 1975. She made her first appearance at Bayreuth in 1970 as Fricka in Die Walküre. She continued to sing annually at Bayreuth through 1976. Also in 1970 she made her first appearance in the Salzburg Festival, and there she sang in the famous Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

Anna Reynolds also sang widely as a concert artist and recitalist.

Some of Anna Reynolds' most important recordings document her effectiveness in the concert and recital repertory, including Bach cantatas, Schumann songs, participation in Leonard Bernstein's pioneering traversal of the complete Gustav Mahler symphonies, and, especially, Das Lied von de Erde and other G. Mahler songs. She participated in the premiere performances of the debut work by young British composer John Tavener, The Whale, and sang on its commercial LP release, the only classical release on The Beatles' own label, Apple Records.

1. Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997)
2. AMG Website (by Joseph Stevenson)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2001, October 2003); Manfred Krugmann (Dates & Photo 03, March 2014)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Lorin Maazel


BWV 232, BWV 249

Karl Richter


BWV 6, BWV 10, BWV 11, BWV 12, BWV 13, BWV 23, BWV 24, BWV 30, BWV 34, BWV 39, BWV 44, BWV 63, BWV 64, BWV 67, BWV 76, BWV 81, BWV 93, BWV 111, BWV 121, BWV 126, BWV 129, BWV 132, BWV 135, BWV 175, BWV 182

Hermann Scherchen


BWV 243

Links to other Sites

Anna Reynolds (AMG)

Anna Reynolds - singer (Wikipedia)

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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 22:02