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Josephine Veasey

Biography

Josephine Veasey established a career as one of England's leading mezzo-sopranos in the 1960s. Her teacher was Audrey Langford, and she started singing professionally as a member of the chorus at Covent Garden in 1949. She joined the more populist organization Opera for All to get solo experience, She made her debut as a soloist at Covent Garden in 1955 as the Shepherd Boy in Wagner's Tannhäuser, moving on to such dramatic mezzo roles as Read more Preziosilla in Verdi's La Forza del Destino and the title role of Bizet's Carmen. Early in the 1960s Georg Solti recommended that she learn Wagnerian roles. In 1964 she sang her first portrayal of Fricka (in both Rheingold and Walküre) and also became notable for her portrayal of Dido in Berlioz's Les Troyens, Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde, Octavian in Strauss's Rosenkavalier, and Herodias in Strauss's Salome. Meanwhile, the versatile singer maintained her French and Italian repertory, including Charlotte in Werther, Marguerite in Berlioz's concert work The Damnation of Faust, and Verdi's Don Carlos. In 1972 and 1973, Colin Davis, by then director of Covent Garden, placed her in alternating casts for Les Troyens as both Dido and Cassandra. In 1976 she sang the role of The Emperor in the world premiere of Henze's We Come to the River. She had the reputation of being a ringing mezzo with the power to project over heavy orchestration, and she was known as a serious actress. Veasey is well represented on recordings. Read less

There are 41 Josephine Veasey recordings available.

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