Smyth, (Dame) Ethel (Mary)

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Smyth, (Dame) Ethel (Mary) (b Footscray, Kent, 1858; d Hook Heath, Woking, 1944). Eng. composer and conductor. Studied Leipzig Cons. and in Berlin. Came into prominence with Mass in D, perf. London 1893. First 3 operas were prod. in Ger. Active in militant campaign for women's suffrage and was jailed 1911. Comp. March of the Women as their battle-song and cond. it in Holloway Jail with tooth-brush. Music was Ger.-influenced but with breezy Eng. quality typical of her personality. Her operas The Wreckers and The Boatswain's Mate contain mus. of considerable quality. Wrote highly entertaining autobiography. DBE 1922. Prin. works:OPERAS: Fantasio (1892–4); The Forest (Der Wald) (1899–1901); The Wreckers (1903–4); The Boatswain's Mate (1913–14); Fête galante (1923); Entente Cordiale (1925).ORCH.: Serenade in D (1890); Ov., Antony and Cleopatra (1890); On the Cliffs of Cornwall (prelude, Act II, The Wreckers) (1928); conc., vn., hn., orch. (1927); 2 Interlinked French Melodies (1929).CHORAL: Mass in D (1891, rev. 1925); March of the Women (1911); Hey Nonny No, ch., orch. (1911); Sleepless Dreams, ch., orch. (1912); A Spring Canticle, ch., orch. (1926); The Prison, sop, bass, ch., orch. (1930).CHAMBER MUSIC: str. quintet (1884); str. qt. No.1 (1894), No.2 (1902–12); vc. sonata (1887); vn. sonata (1887); pf. sonatas; organ preludes; songs (some with orch.).