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Cross, Joan

Cross, Joan (b London, 1900; d Aldeburgh, 1993). Eng. soprano and opera producer. Joined Lilian Baylis's Old Vic opera ch. 1924, graduating to leading roles. Prin. sop., SW Opera 1931–46, and dir. 1943–5. Début CG 1931 (Mimì) and sang there 1947–54. Founder member EOG 1946–54. With Anne Wood, est. Opera School in 1948 (which in 1955 became Nat. Sch. of Opera), being dir. 1948–64. Prod. operas at SW, CG, Oslo, Amsterdam, and Toronto. Dir., Phoenix Opera Co. Joint translator (with E. Crozier) of Smetana's The Bartered Bride. Created five roles in Britten operas: Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes (1945), Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia (1946), Lady Billows in Albert Herring (1947), Elizabeth I in Gloriana (1953), and Mrs Grose in The Turn of the Screw (1954). CBE 1951.

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