Lynne Dawson

Biography

Born: June 3, 1958; York, England  
Followers of the English operatic scene have known the name and singing of Lynne Dawson since the 1980s. Her renown became nearly universal in 1997 when she performed at the funeral of Britain's Princess Diana, and since then she has projected the star quality necessary to propel her career forward.

Her home was the rich farming country of Yorkshire in Northern England, where she was born in 1958 in a hospital next to the historic York
Read more Minster cathedral. She grew up on a farm in the Vale of York, and although she sang as a girl, she was much better known for sports. She won a place on the team representing the city of York in hockey and squash.

Dawson had a special aptitude for languages and studied French, German, Italian, German, Italian and Russian as a university student. She sang only as a hobby, but was picked to sing the lead in school opera productions. After graduation she worked for the firm of Rowntrees in York (now a division of Nestlé) as an interpreter and translator. She also joined the Chapter House chorus at York Minster, and soon was singing most of the solo parts. The chorus master, composer-conductor Andrew Carter, noticed her abilities and encouraged Dawson to consider a singing career.

She left York for London and enrolled in the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, one of Britain's most prominent conservatories. Confirmation that she had made the right choice came when the Deller Consort, a leading professional early-music vocal ensemble, invited her to join while she was still in her first year. Thus, for a mainstream opera figure, her singing career developed in an unusual direction -- she began in early music as a member of the Hilliard Ensemble, working with such leaders of the period-instruments movement as Roger Norrington, John Eliot Gardiner, and Trevor Pinnock in concert before broadening into the standard international opera repertory.

Dawson's operatic debut was in the starring role of The Governess in Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw in 1982. She first sang in Vienna in 1983, at the Salzburg Festival in 1988, at La Scala in 1990, and the Berlin Staatsoper in 1991.

She sings a lyric soprano repertory. The operas in which she has appeared include Monteverdi's Orfeo, Handel's Cleopatra e Cesare, and Ariodate, Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, Gluck's Iphigénie in Aulide and Orfeo et Eurydice; she is well known for the Mozart parts of Fiordiligi (Cosě fan tutte), the Countess (Marriage of Figaro), Constanze (Entführung aus dem Serail), Pamina (The Magic Flute), Elettra (Idomeneo), and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni); she has sung Norina in Don Pasquale, and Amenaide in Rossini's Tancredi. She took a leading role in American composer Elliott Carter's opera What's Next? at the Berlin Staatsoper.

Dawson is an active concert and recital singer, with a solid reputation in the Handel oratorios: Saul, Alexander Balus, Jephtha, Hercules. She sings the Bach B minor Mass, Mozart's C Major Mass and Requiem, Beethoven's Ninth. Further afield, she has also performed Mahler's Second, Brahms' Requiem, Ravel's Shéhérazade, Britten's Les Illuminations, and songs of Othmar Schoeck.

She has appeared on the major concert, festival, and operatic stages of Europe (including multiple appearances in the popular BBC Henry Woods "Proms" concerts) and at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. In 1997 she was asked to sing at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, a ceremony telecast to an audience of billions; she performed part of the "Libera Me" from Verdi's Requiem.

Dawson appears on over sixty compact disc releases, including four of the highly acclaimed complete Schubert song series on Hyperion and the award-winning San Francisco Symphony recording of Orff's Carmina Burana under conductor Herbert Blomstedt. She lives in England with her husband, Simon Jones. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 102 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Herbert Blomstedt - The San Francisco Years [15-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002032302 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Berwald,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Jard Van Nes,  Elisabeth Norberg-Schulz,  Wolfgang Holzmair,  Wendy Hoffman  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Chorus,  San Francisco Girls Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $79.98
    CD: $64.99
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  • 2.
    Erato - 50 CD Collection
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 46441 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Maurice André,  Pierre Pierlot,  Paul Hongne,  Jacques Chambon  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jean-François Paillard,  Frigyes Sándor,  Kent Nagano  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ens.,  Paillard Chamber Orchestra,  Vienna Soloists  ... 
    On sale! $299.98
    CD: $230.49
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  • 3.
    Opera Baroque
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908658 Release Date: 09/17/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Pier Francesco Cavalli,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  Jean-Baptiste Lully  ... 
    Performer:  Graciela Oddone,  Simon Keenlyside,  Juanita Lascarro,  Martina Dike  ... 
    Conductor:  René Jacobs,  William Christie
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ghent Collegium Vocale,  Concerto Vocale,  Academy for Ancient Music Berlin  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $167.98
    CD: $159.99
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  • 4.
    Furie Terribili - 30 Baroque Opera Hits
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908537 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Pier Francesco Cavalli,  Jean-Baptiste Lully,  Marc-Antoine Charpentier  ... 
    Performer:  Efrat Ben Nun,  Bernarda Fink,  Guillemette Laurens,  Danielle Borst  ... 
    Conductor:  René Jacobs,  Philippe Herreweghe,  William Christie,  Alfred Deller  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Vocale,  La Chapelle Royale,  Les Arts Florissants  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 5.
    Handel: Messiah Highlights / Cleobury, Dawson, Summers, Ainsley, Miles
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1260 Release Date: 07/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  John Mark Ainsley,  Lynne Dawson,  Hilary Summers,  Alastair Miles
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Brandenburg Consort
    CD: $11.99
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  • 6.
    The John Eliot Gardiner Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826002 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Henry Purcell,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Marinella Pennicchi,  Michael Chance,  Mark Tucker,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts  ... 
    CD: $104.49
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  • 7.
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 5412002 Release Date: 02/25/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Eric Coates,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Kathryn Stott,  Michael Boriskin,  Todd Levy  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Eugene Ormandy,  Leonard Slatkin,  John Pritchard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players
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  • 8.
    Handel: Messiah / Cleobury, Dawson, Summers, Ainsley, Miles
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 2081 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  John Mark Ainsley,  Lynne Dawson,  Hilary Summers,  Alastair Miles
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Brandenburg Consort
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    CD: $21.99
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  • 9.
    Mendelssohn: Midsummer Night's Dream / Tate, Dawson, Mentzer
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54348 Release Date: 11/23/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Susanne Mentzer,  Lynne Dawson
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Tate
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Rotterdam Philharmonic Women's Chorus
    On sale! $33.98
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  • 10.
    Mozart: Great Mass In C Minor / William Christie
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2564658893 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Patricia Petibon,  Lynne Dawson,  Alan Ewing,  Joseph Cornwell
    Conductor:  William Christie
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Sacqueboutiers,  Les Arts Florissants
    CD: $14.99
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  • 11.
    Handel: Sacred Music [6-CD Set]
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5312 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Bernarda Fink,  Lynne Dawson,  Chris de Moor,  Stephen Varcoe  ... 
    Conductor:  Jean-Claude Malgoire,  Rinaldo Alessandrini,  Marc Minkowski,  Alan Curtis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy,  Namur Chamber Choir,  Concerto Italiano  ... 
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    CD: $24.99
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  • 12.
    All-Baroque Box (From Monteverdi To Bach) [50-CD Limited Edition]
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 001719702 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Giovanni Battista Pergolesi  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Harvey,  Stephen Varcoe,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Michael Chance  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Paul McCreesh,  Marc Minkowski,  Trevor Pinnock  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  Gabrieli Consort  ... 
    CD: $179.99
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  • 13.
    Bach: Mass In B Minor / Fasolis, Sonatori De La Gioiosa Marca
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94359 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Roberta Invernizzi,  Gloria Banditelli,  Lynne Dawson,  Christoph Prégardien  ... 
    Conductor:  Diego Fasolis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Chorus,  Sonatori de la Gioiosa Marca
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  • 14.
    Bach: St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, Mass In B Minor, Easter & Christmas Oratorios / Cleobury, Fasolis, Schweizer
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94382 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Michael George,  Martyn Hill,  Emma Kirkby,  Rogers Covey-Crump  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Diego Fasolis,  Rolf Schweizer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg Consort,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Italian Switzerland Radio/TV Chorus  ... 
    CD: $48.99
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  • 15.
    Sacred Treasures
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2646 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Marc-Antoine Charpentier,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Claudio Monteverdi,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  David Thomas,  Emma Kirkby,  Rogers Covey-Crump,  Gérard Lesne  ... 
    Conductor:  William Christie,  Andrew Parrott,  Philip Ledger,  Paul McCreesh  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Arts Florissants,  Taverner Players,  Taverner Consort  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 16.
    Magnificat - 500 Years Of Choral Masterworks [50-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001664502 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Gregorio Allegri,  Antonio Lotti,  Orlando de Lassus,  Josquin Des Préz  ... 
    Performer:  Patrick Russill,  Marinella Pennicchi,  Michael Chance,  Mark Tucker  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers,  Paul McCreesh,  Stephen Cleobury,  Edward Wickham  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen,  Gabrieli Consort,  Gabrieli Players  ... 
    CD: $179.99
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  • 17.
    Handel: Messiah, Johannes Passion, La Resurrezione / Vitale, Nemeth, Cleobury
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94317 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Alastair Miles,  Lynne Dawson,  Hilary Summers,  John Mark Ainsley  ... 
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury,  Pál Németh,  Marco Vitale
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg Consort,  Cambridge King's College Choir,  Capella Savaria  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 18.
    Choral Works - Bach, Biber, Brahms, Faure, Krenek, Mahler, Monteverdi
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 2908520 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claudio Monteverdi,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Charles Brett,  Ingrid Schmithüsen,  Peter Kooy,  Howard Crook  ... 
    Conductor:  Philippe Herreweghe,  Marcus Creed,  Kent Nagano,  Andrew Manze
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Chapelle Royale Paris,  Musique Oblique,  Les Petits Chanteurs de St. Louis  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $79.98
    CD: $68.99
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  • 19.
    Mahler: Symphony No 8 / Nagano, Deutsches So Berlin
    Label: Harmonia Mundi   Catalog: 501858 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Sophie Koch,  Sylvia Greenberg,  Sally Matthews,  Lynne Dawson  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin,  Windsbach Boys Choir,  Middle German Radio Chorus Leipzig
    Recommendation
    On sale! $21.98
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  • 20.
    A Handel Portrait
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94214 Release Date: 05/31/2011   Number of Discs: 40
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Robin Miller,  Maria Grafova,  Stefanie True,  Kristine Gether  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Haydon Clark,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Hartmut Haenchen,  John Lubbock  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Consort of London,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Janácek Philharmony  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 21.
    Ultimate Wedding Collection [emi Classics]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27203 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Frideric Handel,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Ian Brown,  Susan Tomes,  Frederic Bayco  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Kilbey,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Kenneth Montgomery  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Taverner Players
    CD: $17.99
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  • 22.
    Handel: Messiah / Cleobury, Dawson, Summers [2 Cds + Dvd]
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94127 Release Date: 04/19/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Alastair Miles,  Lynne Dawson,  Hilary Summers,  John Mark Ainsley
    Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brandenburg Consort,  Cambridge King's College Choir
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  • 23.
    Bach Edition - Complete Works Of J. S. Bach
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94050 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 157
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Christine Schornsheim,  Dmitri Sitkovetsky,  Menno Van Delft,  Mark Lubotsky  ... 
    Conductor:  Pieter-Jan Belder,  Robert Haydon Clark,  Burkhard Glaetzner,  Peter Schreier  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Musica Amphion,  Consort of London,  Leipzig New Bach Collegium Musicum  ... 
    CD: $168.99
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  • 24.
    Essential Wedding
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27937 Release Date: 08/24/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Markus Klinko,  Tasmin Little,  Piers Lane,  Frederic Bayco  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Kilbey,  Stephen Cleobury,  Sir David Willcocks,  Kenneth Montgomery  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Nash Ensemble,  Camerata Lysy,  Liverpool Cathedral & Brass Ensemble  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 25.
    The Handel Collection / The Sixteen [12-CD Set]
    Label: Coro   Catalog: 16080 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Jonathan Best,  Matthew Vine,  Michael George,  Catherine Wyn-Rogers  ... 
    Conductor:  Harry Christophers
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  The Sixteen,  The Symphony of Harmony and Invention
    Recommendation
    On sale! $100.98
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