Scottish mezzo soprano Linda Finnie has experienced a wide-ranging career, built upon both opera performance and concert work. Her full, ripe, if not especially large, instrument proved well-suited to a broad repertory. A long-standing exclusive recital and oratorio artist for Chandos Records, she has recorded numerous oratorios and song recitals. Under the leadership of conductor Daniel Barenboim, she made notable contributions to the BayreuthRead more Festival Ring cycle of the late '80s, a production subsequently released on commercial recording.
Following studies at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama where she earned each of the school's performance awards, Finnie won the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Award in 1974. In 1977, she gained international attention by capturing the Kathleen Ferrier Prize at s'Hertogenbosch. Not long thereafter, Finnie had made debuts with most of the major opera companies in the British Isles, among them Covent Garden and the English National Opera. Abroad, she sang first with the Frankfurt Oper, making her debut as Amneris. In Nice, she sang Waltraute in Die Götterdämmerung, establishing her suitability for the Wagnerian repertory. In 1988, she made her first appearance at Bayreuth, singing Fricka, Siegrune, and the Second Norn in the theater's new Ring cycle.
Meanwhile, Finnie's British appearances had expanded to include the famous Proms, where in 1986 she was the alto soloist in Mahler's Symphony No. 8 "Symphony of a Thousand." America heard her that same season when she appeared as a soloist in Verdi's Manzoni Requiem with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Other prominent orchestras figured in her engagement book, including the Pittsburgh and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the BBC Symphony, the Scottish National Orchestra, and the Orchestre National de Radio France. In opera, return engagements at Bayreuth and Frankfort were supplemented by appearances at London's Royal Opera and English National Opera and with the Niewe Nederlandse Opera.
Finnie became active in the recording studio early in her career, participating in Kurt Sanderling's recording of Beethoven's "Choral" Symphony in 1981. Since then, a substantial discography has amassed, including Gluck's Armide in 1983, Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky in 1988, Mendelssohn's Elijah with Richard Hickox in 1989, and in the 1990s, such works as Mahler's Kindertotenlieder and Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and Elgar's Sea Pictures and Music Makers. Several commendable song recitals were also recorded for Chandos. Read less
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