Valerie Masterson

Biography

Born: June 3, 1937; Birkenhead, England  
Lovely of face and figure, Valerie Masterson established herself as an important artist early in her career, making special claims on areas of the French repertory, in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, and as an engaging interpreter of songs from popular musical theater. Her slender, slightly acidulous voice proved well suited to such roles as Manon, Marguérite, and Micaëla. After studies at the Matthay School of Music in Liverpool and at Read more London's Royal College of Music, Masterson traveled to Milan to work with Adelaide Saraceni, a former soprano who was remembered especially for the asperity of her lyric instrument. Masterson's debut was made at the Landestheater in Salzburg in 1964. There she sang works in the Italian, French, and German repertories, all lighter lyric parts such as Frasquita, Nannetta, and Fiorilla. Also in 1964, Masterson was invited by Malcolm Sargent to perform at London's Proms, once in Gilbert and Sullivan. Later, Masterson was engaged by England's D'Oyly Carte company, serving as leading soprano from 1966 to 1970. Her Gilbert and Sullivan heroines were appreciated by audiences and critics alike; several were subsequently recorded. In 1971, Masterson joined Sadler's Wells (later the English National Opera), becoming one of the company's most cherished artists. Among her successes there were Adéle in Rossini's Le Comte Ory, Manon (exquisitely sung and acted), Cleopatra in Handel's Julius Caesar (sung in English, as were other E.N.O. productions), and Violetta (subsequently recorded). At Aix-en-Provence, beginning in 1975, she undertook a variety of leading roles from Handel to Rossini (a memorable Matilde in Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra). In 1978 she made a successful debut in Paris as Marguérite. Masterson's 1980 American debut took place in San Francisco when she presented her fragile Violetta. Earlier that year, she had sung Konstanze at Glyndebourne in an over-elaborate production that forced her to compete with the singing of live birds on-stage. At Covent Garden, she became a valued artist, performing such varied fare as Gounod, Sallinen (The King Goes Forth to France), Monteverdi, and Henze (We Come to the River). Among Masterson's recordings are her English-language Cleopatra (with Janet Baker's ardent Caesar) and Violetta, a stylish French aria recital, some Gilbert and Sullivan heroines, and several pleasing recitals of Broadway standards. Read less

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Biography

Born: June 3, 1937; Birkenhead, England  
Lovely of face and figure, Valerie Masterson established herself as an important artist early in her career, making special claims on areas of the French repertory, in the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, and as an engaging interpreter of songs from popular musical theater. Her slender, slightly acidulous voice proved well suited to such roles as Manon, Marguérite, and Micaëla. After studies at the Matthay School of Music in Liverpool and at Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Overture
1. If you want to know who we are
2. Gentlemen, I pray you tell me maiden...
A wand'ring minstrel I
4. Our great Mikado, virtuous man
5. Young man, despair
6. And I have journey'd for a month
Behold the Lord High Executioner
As someday it may happen that a victim...
9. Comes a train of little ladies
Three little maids from school are we
So Please You, Sir, We Much Regret
12. Were you not to Ko-Ko plighted
13. I am so proud, If I allowed
14. With aspect stern and gloomy stride
15. The threaten'd cloud has pass'd away
16. Your revels cease! Assist me, all of you!
17. Oh fool, that flee-est My hallow'd joys!
18. For he's going to marry Yum-Yum
19. The hour of gladness is dead and gone
20. Ye torrents roar! Ye tempests howl!
21. Braid the raven hair, Weave the supple tresses
The sun whose rays are all ablaze
23. Brightly dawns our wedding day
Here's a how-de-do!
25. Miya sama, miya sama, o n'mma no maye ni
26. From ev'ry kind of man Obedience I expect
27. A more humane Mikado never did in Japan exist
28. The criminal cried as he dropp'd him down
29. See how the fates their gifts allot
The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring, Tra La
31. Alone and yet alive
32. Hearts do not break! They sting and ache
On A Tree By A River A Little Tom Tit
There is beauty in the bellow of the blast
35. Fanfare
For he's gone and married Yum-Yum
Overture
1. Pour, oh pour the pirate sherry
2. When Fred'ric was a little lad
3. Oh, better far to live and die
4. Oh, false one, you have deceived me
5. Climbing over rocky mountain
6. Stop! ladies, pray! A man!
7. Oh, is there not one maiden breast
8. Oh, sisters, deaf to pity's name, For shame!
Poor wand'ring one!
10. What ought we to do, Gentle sisters say?
11. How beautifully blue the sky
12. Stay, we must not lose our senses
13. Hold, Monsters!
14. I am the very model of a modern Major-General
15. Oh, men of dark and dismal fate
16. Hail Poetry, thou heav'n born maid!
17. You may go, for you're at liberty
18. Pray observe the magnanimity
19. Oh, dry the glist'ning tear
20. Then Frederic
When the foeman bares his steel
22. Now for the pirates lair!
23. When you had left our pirate fold
24. Away, away, my heart's on fire
25. All is prepared
26. Stay, Fred'ric stay!
27. Ah, leave me not to pine alone and desolate
28. Oh, here is love and here is truth
19. No, I'll be brave
30. Sergeant approach (Dialogue)
When a felon's not engaged in his employment
32. A rollicking band of pirates we
With cat-like tread
34. Hush! Hush! Not a word
35. Sighing softly to the river
36. Now what is this, and what is that
37. We triumph now
38. Away with them, and place them at the bar
39. Poor wand'ring ones, though ye have surely straye
Overture
I Search throughout the panorama
2. Now hearken to my strict command
3. Today we meet...Ida was a twelve-month old
4. From the distant panorama...We are warriors three
If you give me your attention
6. P'raps if you address the lady most politely
7. Towards the empyrean heights
8. Mighty maiden with a mission
9. Minerva...Oh, goddess wise
10. Gently, gently, evidently
11. I am a maiden, cold and stately
12. The world is but a broken toy
13. A lady fair, of lineage high
The woman of the wisest wit
15. Now would you like to rule the roost
16. Merrily ring the luncheon bell
17. Would you know the kind of maid
18. Oh, joy! Our chief is sav'd
19. We may remark, tho' nothing can dismay us
20. Death to the invader
I built upon a rock
Whene'er I spoke sarcastic joke
23. When anger spreads his wing
This helmet I suppose
25. This is our duty plain
26. With joy abiding
Overture
1. Ring forth, ye bells
2. Constance, my daughter
3. When he is here, I sigh with pleasure
4. The air is charged with amatory numbers
5. Time was, when love and I were well acquainted
6. Sir Marmaduke...Minuet
7. With heart and voice
8. My kindly friends...Oh, happy young heart
9. My child, I join in these congratulations
10. With heart and with voice
11. Welcome joy! adieu to sadness!
12. All is prepar'd for sealing and for sighing
13. Love feeds on many kinds of food
My name is John Wellington Wells
15. Sprites of earth and air
16. Now to the banquet we press
17. 'Tis twelve, I think
18. Dear friends, take pity on my lot
19. Thou hast the pow'r....It is not love
20. I rejoice that it's decided
21. Oh, I have wrought much evil with my spells...
22. Alexis! Doubt me not...The fearful deed is done
23. Oh, my voice is sad and low
24. Oh, joyous boon
25. Prepare for sad surprises
26. Or he or I must die
Overture
1. Pour, oh pour the pirate sherry
2. When Fred'ric was a little lad
3. Oh, better far to live and die
4. Oh, false one, you have deceived me
5. Climbing over rocky mountain
6. Stop! ladies, pray! A man!
7. Oh, is there not one maiden breast
8. Oh, sisters, deaf to pity's name, For shame!
Poor wand'ring one!
10. What ought we to do, Gentle sisters say?
11. How beautifully blue the sky
12. Stay, we must not lose our senses
13. Hold, Monsters!
14. I am the very model of a modern Major-General
15. Oh, men of dark and dismal fate
16. Hail Poetry, thou heav'n born maid!
17. You may go, for you're at liberty
18. Pray observe the magnanimity
19. Oh, dry the glist'ning tear
20. Then Frederic
When the foeman bares his steel
22. Now for the pirates lair!
23. When you had left our pirate fold
24. Away, away, my heart's on fire
25. All is prepared
26. Stay, Fred'ric stay!
27. Ah, leave me not to pine alone and desolate
28. Oh, here is love and here is truth
19. No, I'll be brave
30. Sergeant approach (Dialogue)
When a felon's not engaged in his employment
32. A rollicking band of pirates we
With cat-like tread
34. Hush! Hush! Not a word
35. Sighing softly to the river
36. Now what is this, and what is that
37. We triumph now
38. Away with them, and place them at the bar
39. Poor wand'ring ones, though ye have surely straye
Overture
1. If you want to know who we are
2. Gentlemen, I pray you tell me maiden...
A wand'ring minstrel I
4. Our great Mikado, virtuous man
5. Young man, despair
6. And I have journey'd for a month
Behold the Lord High Executioner
As someday it may happen that a victim...
9. Comes a train of little ladies
Three little maids from school are we
So Please You, Sir, We Much Regret
12. Were you not to Ko-Ko plighted
13. I am so proud, If I allowed
14. With aspect stern and gloomy stride
15. The threaten'd cloud has pass'd away
16. Your revels cease! Assist me, all of you!
17. Oh fool, that flee-est My hallow'd joys!
18. For he's going to marry Yum-Yum
19. The hour of gladness is dead and gone
20. Ye torrents roar! Ye tempests howl!
21. Braid the raven hair, Weave the supple tresses
The sun whose rays are all ablaze
23. Brightly dawns our wedding day
Here's a how-de-do!
25. Miya sama, miya sama, o n'mma no maye ni
26. From ev'ry kind of man Obedience I expect
27. A more humane Mikado never did in Japan exist
28. The criminal cried as he dropp'd him down
29. See how the fates their gifts allot
The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring, Tra La
31. Alone and yet alive
32. Hearts do not break! They sting and ache
On A Tree By A River A Little Tom Tit
There is beauty in the bellow of the blast
35. Fanfare
For he's gone and married Yum-Yum
Prelude: What light shines down there? (3 Norns)
Prelude: Wotan made holy laws and treaties (Second Norn)
Prelude: That mighty hall the giants have raised (3 Norns)
Prelude: Now the gods will seize the spear that was shattered (3 Norns)
Prelude: Dawn Music (Orchestra) - To deeds of glory (Brunnhilde, Siegfried)
Prelude: Ah, but to prove you love me (Brunnhilde, Siegfried)
Prelude: Love, I leave you alone (Siegfried, Brunnhilde)
Prelude: So by your daring I am fired (Siegfried, Brunnhilde)
Prelude: O heavenly rulers! (Brunnhilde, Siegfried)
Prelude: Siegfried's Rhine Journey (Orchestra)
Act I Scene 1: Now hear, Hagen (Gunther, Hagen)
Act I Scene 1: What woman should I wed ... ? (Gunther, Hagen, Gutrune)
Act I Scene 1: At Neidhohle the Nibelung gold was guarded (Hagen, Gunther)
Act I Scene 1: You mock me, wicked Hagen! (Gutrune, Hagen, Gunther)
Act I Scene 1: Merrily seeking adventures and fame (Hagen, Gunther, Siegfried)
Act I Scene 2: Which is Gibich's son? (Siegfried, Gunther, Hagen)
Act I Scene 2: I welcome you, my friend (Gunther, Siegfried, Hagen)
Act I Scene 2: That treasure I quite forgot (Siegfried, Hagen, Gunther)
Act I Scene 2: Welcome, O guest, to Gibich's house! (Gutrune, Siegfried, Gunther)
Scene 1: Orchestral prelude
Scene 1: Weia! Waga! Wandering waters (Woglinde, Wellgunde, Flosshilde)
Scene 1: He, he! You nixies! (Alberich, Woglinde, Wellgunde, Flosshilde)
Scene 1: Slimy, slippery, slithery smoothness! (Alberich, Woglinde, Wellgunde, Flosshilde)
Scene 1: Look, sisters! The sunlight is greeting the gold (Woglinde, Wellgunde, Flosshilde)
Scene 1: What's that, you nixies ... ? (Alberich, Woglinde, Wellgunde, Flosshilde)
Scene 1: The world's wealth can be mine ... ? (Alberich, Woglinde, Wellgunde, Flosshilde)
Scene 1: Still not afraid? (Alberich, Flosshilde, Wellgunde, Woglinde) - Orchestral interlude
Scene 2: Wotan, my lord! Awaken! (Fricka, Wotan)
Scene 2: For I wished you faithful and true (Fricka, Wotan)
Scene 2: Then shelter her now (Fricka, Freia, Wotan)
Scene 2: Soft sleep closed your eyes (Fasolt, Wotan, Fafner)
Scene 2: God of light, light of spirit! (Fasolt, Wotan, Fafner, Freia)
Scene 2: To me, Freia! Back from her, giant! (Froh, Donner, Fafner, Fasolt, Wotan)
Scene 3: What help for me? (Mime, Loge, Wotan)
Scene 3: Better take care! Alberich's near (Mime, Wotan, Alberich)
Scene 3: What brought you here? (Alberich, Wotan, Loge)
Scene 3: In the clouds, you great ones (Alberich, Wotan, Loge)
Scene 3: All must stand in amazement (Loge, Alberich)
Prelude
Act I: What a time to arrive at a party! (Violetta, Flora, Marquis, Gaston, Alfredo, Baron, Chorus)
Act I: Be happy, be happy and raise your glass with me (Alfredo, Violetta, Chorus)
Act I: What's that? (Violetta, Alfredo, Chorus)
Act I: I saw a vision ethereal (Alfredo, Violetta)
Act I: Ha, ha! What are you doing? (Gaston, Violetta, Alfredo)
Act I: We present ourselves before you (Chorus)
Act I: I wonder! I wonder! (Violetta)
Act I: Is he the one I dream about? (Violetta)
Act I: It can't be! It can't be! (Violetta)
Act I: Give me freedom to be happy (Violeta, Alfredo)
Act II Scene 1: I'm never happy if she is not beside me (Alfredo)
Act II Scene 1: My life was too impetuous (Alfredo)
Act II Scene 1: Annina, where have you been? (Alfredo, Annina)
Act II Scene 1: I hate myself! I'm so ashamed! (Alfredo)
Act II Scene 1: Alfredo? He has just set out for Paris (Violetta, Annina, Joseph, Germont)
Act II Scene 1: I have a daughter sent from Heav'n (Germont, Violetta)
Act II Scene 1: Do you realise I adore him (Violetta, Germont)
Act II Scene 1: A day will come when making love ... (Germont, Violetta)
Act II Scene 1: Ah! Comfort your daughter so pure and lovely (Violetta, Germont)
Act II Scene 1: Then command me! (Violetta, Germont)
Act II Scene 1: I'll die! But you must promise me ... (Violetta, Germont)
Act II Scene 1: God give me strength to bear it! (Violetta, Annina)
Act II Scene 1: What's that? Nothing (Alfredo, Violetta)
Act II Scene 1: Ah, she is mine forever (Alfredo, Joseph, A Passer-by, Germont)
Act II Scene 1: In Provence, your native land (Germont)
Act II Scene 1: Won't you answer your father, Alfredo? (Germont, Alfredo)
Act II Scene 1: No, no, I cannot preach at you (Germont, Alfredo)
Overture
Act I Scene 1: Caesar! Caesar! Egypt acclaims thee (Chorus)
Act I Scene 1: Kneel in tribute, fair land of Egypt (Caesar)
Act I Scene 1: Curio, Caesar has come ... (Caesar, Cornelia, Sextus, Achillas)
Act I Scene 1: Tyrant, avoid my sight (Caesar)
Act I Scene 1: Mother! Cornelia! (Sextus, Curio, Cornelia)
Act I Scene 1: Grief and woe all hope deny me (Cornelia)
Act I Scene 1: The time for tears is over (Sextus)
Act I Scene 1: Come rouse yourselves to vengeance (Sextus)
Act I Scene 2: You shall be Queen, Cleopatra (Cleopatra, Nirenus, Ptolemy)
Act I Scene 2: Yet why despair? (Cleopatra)
Act I Scene 2: Pharaoh, my King! (Achillas, Ptolemy)
Act I Scene 2: Upstart, barbarian and traitor! (Ptolemy)
Act I Scene 3: Spirit of mighty Pompey (Caesar, Curio, Cleopatra, Nirenus)
Act I Scene 3: Here within thee, O friendly marble (Cornelia)
Act I Scene 3: Alas! Reviled and neglected, must I remain here for ever? (Cornelia, Sextus, Cleopatra, Nirenus)
Act I Scene 3: O star of my desire (Cleopatra)
Act I Scene 4: Caesar! A generous destiny ... (Ptolemy, Caesar, Achillas)
Act I Scene 4: How silently, how slyly (Caesar)
Act I Scene 4: Sire, with Sextus her son, the lady Cornelia (Achillas, Cornelia, Sextus, Ptolemy)
Act I Scene 4: Ne'er reject a tender lover (Achillas)
Act I Scene 4: Mother! My dearest! (Sextus, Cornelia)
Act I Scene 4: Condemn'd to grieve and cry, my love (Cornelia, Sextus)
Act II Scene 1: Have you done as I ordered, faithful Nirenus? (Cleopatra, Nirenus, Caesar)
Act II Scene 1: Lamenting, complaining of Caesar's disdaining (Cleopatra, Caesar)
Act II Scene 1: Fly then, fly, O my heart (Caesar, Nirenus)
Act II Scene 1: Fleet o'er flowery meadow gliding (Caesar)
Act II Scene 2: Still despairing, still lamenting (Cornelia)
Act II Scene 2: Lady, forget your grieving (Achillas, Cornelia, Ptolemy)
Act II Scene 2: Deep within my bosom burning (Ptolemy)
Act II Scene 2: So why delay? (Cornelia, Sextus)
Act II Scene 2: Sigh no more, forget lamenting (Cornelia)
Act II Scene 2: He is no son who seeks not full revenge ... (Sextus)
Act II Scene 2: Wounded, the serpent ne'er reposes
Act II Scene 3: Soon he will come to find me (Cleopatra)
Act II Scene 3: Venus, fair lady, 1 favour send me (Cleopatra)
Act II Scene 3: Ah gods! What do I see? (Caesar, Cleopatra, Curio)
Act II Scene 3: In anger and fury I'll turn on the foe (Caesar, Chorus)
Act II Scene 3: They will kill him (Cleopatra)
Act II Scene 3: Hear my prayer, O gods, relenting (Cleopatra)
Act II: Symphony
Act III Scene 1: So! You are beaten! (Ptolemy, Cleopatra)
Act III Scene 1: I shall tame your pride unbending (Ptolemy)
Act III Scene 1: And so in 1 brief hour all my glory is gone? (Cleopatra)
Act III Scene 1: Flow, my tears (Cleopatra)
Act III Scene 1: From the perils of the ocean (Caesar)
Act III Scene 1: Zephyrs! Zephyrs, come to mine aid! (Caesar)
Act III Scene 1: Nirenus, the battle is fought and lost (Sextus, Achillas, Caesar, Curio)
Act III Scene 1: See in spate the high cataract storming (Caesar)
Act III Scene 2: Ladies, my faithful servants (Cleopatra, Caesar)
Act III Scene 2: Stormy winds my ship had shaken (Cleopatra)
Act III Scene 3: Symphony
Act III Scene 3: Here, Curio and your legions (Nirenus, Caesar, Sextus, Cornelia, Cleopatra)
Act III Scene 3: Dearest! Fairest! (Cleopatra, Caesar)
Act III Scene 3: Long, long may Egypt continue (Caesar)
Act III Scene 3: Proclaim we all great Caesar's glory (Chorus)
Act III Scene 3: A vow I give you (Caesar, Cleopatra)
Act III Scene 3: Proclaim we all great Caesar's glory (Chorus)


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