Palmer, Felicity (Joan)

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Palmer, Felicity (Joan)

Palmer, Felicity (Joan), admired English soprano; b. Cheltenham, April 6, 1944. She received her training at the Guildhall School of Music in London (1962–67) and from Marianne Schech at the Munich Hochschule für Musik. She first sang in the John Alldis Choir and the Purcell Consort in London. In 1970 she won the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship and made her formal debut in Purcell’s Dioclesian at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. She made her operatic debut as Dido with the Kent Opera in 1971. In 1973 she made her U.S. operatic debut as Mozart’s Countess with the Houston Grand Opera. In 1975 she made her first appearance with the English National Opera in London as Pamina. She continued to make regular appearances in opera in London in subsequent years. She also pursued a highly successful career as a soloist with orchs. and as a recitalist. In 1973, 1977, and 1984 she toured Europe as soloist with the BBC Sym. Orch. After singing opera in Bern (1977), Frankfurt am Main (1978), and Zürich (1980), she made her Glyndebourne debut as Florence in Albert Herring in 1985. In 1986 she appeared as Kabanicha in Kát’a Kabanová at the Chicago Lyric Opera. In 1987 she sang in the first perf. of Testi’s Riccardo III at Milan’s La Scala. She made her debut at the Salzburg Festival in 1988 as a soloist in Messiah. In 1992 she sang the title role in the stage premiere of Roberto Gerhard’s The Duenna in Madrid. She portrayed Clytemnestra at Covent Garden in 1997. Palmer’s operatic and concert repertoire is notable for its range, from early music to the avant-garde. In 1993 she was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Palmer, Felicity (Joan)

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