Garrett, Lesley, English soprano; b. Thome, Don-caster, April 10, 1955. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and pursued postgraduate studies at the National Opera Studio. In 1979 she was co-winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Competition. After making her operatic debut with the English National Opera in London in 1980 as Alice in Le comte Ory, she sang Dorinda in Handel’s Orlando that year at the Wexford Festival. In 1984 she made her first appearance at the Gyndebourne Festival as Damigella in L’incoronazione de Poppea. She returned to the English National Opera in 1984 as its principal soprano, winning praise for her appearances in such roles as Susanna in 1990, Zerlina in 1992, and Euridice in 1997. Her other roles of note included Despina, Adele, Oscar, Musetta, Janacek’s Bystrouska, Weill’s Jenny, and Tippett’s Bella. As a guest artist, she appeared in Geneva, Florence, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and other European operatic centers. She also was engaged as a concert artist in her homeland and abroad.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire