Evans, Nancy (1915–2000)

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Evans, Nancy (1915–2000)

British mezzo-soprano. Born in Liverpool, England, Mar 19, 1915; died Aug 20, 2000; studied vocal music with John Tobin in Liverpool; studied in London with Eva de Reusz and Maggie Teyte; m. Walter Legge (record producer, div.); m. Eric Crozier (opera producer), 1949 (died 1994).

One of the major British singers of her generation, who was closely linked with the music of Benjamin Britten, made London stage debut in the comic opera The Rose of Persia (1938); made opera debut as a Flower Maiden and the Voice from on High in Parsifal; during WWII, sang on several occasions with John McCormack; alternating with Kathleen Ferrier, created the role of Lucretia in the highly acclaimed premiere of Britten's The Rape of Lucretia (1946) at the Glyndebourne Festival, then sang the role alone at Covent Garden's 1st presentation of it (1947); created the role of Nancy in Britten's next opera, Albert Herring (1947); over next 2 decades, was one of the leading ensemble members of the English Opera Group, starring in performances not only of Britten's stage works but those of other contemporary composers; sang the solo part in Vaughan Williams' Nativity composition Hodie (This Day, 1954) and starred in the world premiere of Malcolm Williamson's opera The Growing Castle (1968); also sang Polly Peachum in Britten's The Beggar's Opera and starred as Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and as Lucinda Woodcock in Love in a Village; in later years, taught vocal master classes at Aldeburgh's Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies.

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Evans, Nancy (1915–2000)

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