Watson, Lillian, English soprano; b. London, Dec. 4, 1947. She studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and at the London Opera Centre, and received private vocal instruction from Vera Rozsa and Jessica Cash. In 1970 she made her formal operatic debut as Cis in Albert Herring at the Wexford Festival. She sang Papagena at her first appearance at the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff in 1971, and continued to sing there until 1975. In 1971 she made her debut at London’s Covent Gaden as Rossini’s Barbarina, where her subsequent roles included Blondchen, Tatiana, Janácek’s Vixen, and Tippett’s Bella. In 1975 she appeared as Despina with the Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and in 1976 she sang Susanna at the Glyndebourne Festival, a role she also chose for her debut at the English National Opera in London in 1978. In 1982 she made her first appearance at the Salzburg Festival as Marzelline, and then sang Blondchen in Vienna in 1983. She was engaged at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris in 1989 as Strauss’s Sophie. In 1993 she portrayed the Fairy Godmother in the first British performance of Cendrillon at the Welsh National Opera.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire