Rosalind Plowright

Biography

Born: May 21, 1949; Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England  
Hailed early by British critics as a major artist, soprano Rosalind Plowright has had a career of both significant successes and disappointing failures. Gifted with a voice of great promise, she too often seems to have been compromised by an unreliable technique. Her large, brightly colored top register and substantial middle range have, at their best, been components of an instrument of undeniable excitement. At other times, the voice has tended Read more toward squalling and uncertainties of pitch, detracting from basically good vocal and dramatic instincts. For all her unevenness, she has recorded several leading roles that represent her best singing and has won the support of some major conductors. Her slender beauty has also lent her stage work a high level of credibility.

After studies in Manchester, and later at the London Opera Centre, Plowright made her debut in 1975 singing the short but important role of the Page in a production of Salome at the English National Opera; she subsequently appeared with the company as Tosca, Elisabeth de Valois, Miss Jessel, Helene in Verdi's Les vepres Siciliennes, and Elizabeth the First in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda. The latter opera, sung with Janet Baker and subsequently recorded, put her name and voice before a wider audience and brought positive reviews. In 1976 and 1977, she sang Donna Elvira and the Countess with the Glyndebourne Touring Opera, pursuing the Don Giovanni of the young Thomas Allen. In 1979, she won appreciative reviews for her Fennimore in Delius' Fennimore and Gerda at London's Camden Festival. In 1980, she sang Manon Lescaut at Torre del Lago, as well as appearing as Aida in Frankfurt and as Ariadne in Berne.

Plowright's Covent Garden debut came in 1980 when she was engaged for Ortlinde. Amidst later successes in larger roles -- such as Donna Anna, Desdemona, Maddalena in Andrea Chénier, and Leonora in Il trovatore -- came a Senta which was regarded as a failure. Her top register in the role of Wagner's visionary heroine proved unreliable and she was further hindered by an unpopular stage production. Plowright's American debut took place in San Diego when she sang Medora in the United States premiere of Verdi's Il corsaro. She returned to perform the title roles in Chabrier's Wagner-influenced opera Gwendoline and Verdi's Violetta. Her New York debut came in a 1983 concert performance of Strauss' Die Liebe der Danae when she essayed the title role. La Scala also heard her for the first in 1983 when she sang Suor Angelica; in 1987, she undertook Alcestis in Milan. She sang Cherubini's Medea, a role with which she was closely associated, at Buxton in 1984 and later at Covent Garden. Lausanne heard her Medea in an Italian-language production. Following prolonged vocal difficulties, Plowright sang a credible Santuzza at the Berlin Staatsoper in 1996, and the following year performed Giorgetta in Puccini's Il tabarro at the English National Opera. Other roles in Plowright's repertory include Madama Butterfly, Tatyana, Gioconda, Lady Macbeth (for which her voice in its prime was ideally suited), and Norma (which proved substantially more problematic). Among Plowright's recordings, her heroine in Spontini's La vestale, her Trovatore Leonora (with Giulini), her English-language Desdemona, and her solos in Mendelssohn's Elijah are the best examples. Read less
Verdi: La Forza Del Destino / Sinopoli, Plowright, Baltsa
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 419203   Number of Discs: 3
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Puccini: Il Trittico / Cappuccili, Sass, Plowright, Pons, Et Al
Release Date: 02/17/2004   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2037   Number of Discs: 1
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Verdi: Il Trovatore / Plowright, Zancanaro, Cossotto, Bonisolli, Et Al
Release Date: 06/28/2005   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 2839   Number of Discs: 1
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Verdi: La Forza Del Destino / Sinopoli, Plowright, Baltsa
Release Date: 01/10/2006   Label: Deutsche Grammophon  
Catalog: 000576602   Number of Discs: 3
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Giordano: Andrea Chenier / Schirmer, Plowright, Sandoval, Fantini, Kross
Release Date: 10/25/2011   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 707908   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 40 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Poulenc: Dialogues Des Carmelites / Rhorer, Koch, Petibon, Gens, Piau
    Label: Erato (Dvd)   Catalog: 4622069 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Sophie Koch,  Véronique Gens,  Patricia Petibon,  Sandrine Piau  ... 
    Conductor:  Jérémie Rhorer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 2.
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 4621953 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Sandrine Piau,  Patricia Petibon,  Véronique Gens,  Sophie Koch  ... 
    Conductor:  Jérémie Rhorer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 3.
    The Art Of Verdi / Placido Domingo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001809102 Release Date: 04/02/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Placido Domingo,  Eduardo Valdés  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Claudio Abbado,  Valery Gergiev,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 4.
    Verdi: The Complete Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001806202 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 75
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Maria Guleghina,  Samuel Ramey,  Violeta Urmana,  Sara Fulgoni  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Lamberto Gardelli,  James Levine,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  London Voices,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $236.99
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  • 5.
    Forever Domingo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001784502 Release Date: 11/19/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Agustín Lara,  Nicholas Brodszky,  Salvatore Cardillo,  Ernesto Lecuona  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Sherrill Milnes,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Nicolai Ghiaurov  ... 
    Conductor:  Marcel Peeters,  Karl-Heinz Loges,  Herbert von Karajan,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 6.
    Giordano: Andrea Chenier / Schirmer, Plowright, Sandoval, Fantini [blu-ray]
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 708004 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano
    Performer:  Rosalind Plowright,  Norma Fantini,  Tania Kross,  Hector Sandoval  ... 
    Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bregenz Festival Chorus,  Wiener Symphoniker,  Prague Philharmonic Choir
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  • 7.
    Giordano: Andrea Chenier / Schirmer, Plowright, Sandoval, Fantini, Kross
    Label: C Major   Catalog: 707908 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano
    Performer:  Scott Hendricks,  Hector Sandoval,  Norma Fantini,  Tania Kross  ... 
    Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bregenz Festival Chorus,  Wiener Symphoniker,  Prague Philharmonic Choir
    Recommendation
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  • 8.
    Placido Domingo - The Opera Collection [26-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001515202 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 26
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Geoffrey Pogson,  Jean Lainé,  Alicia Nafé,  Richard Amner  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Ion Marin,  Georges Prêtre,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $99.98
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  • 9.
    The Placido Domingo Story [3-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001515302 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Monserrat Aparici,  Pedro Di Proenza,  Tatiana Troyanos  ... 
    Conductor:  Nello Santi,  Rafael Kubelik,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Richard Bonynge  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 10.
    Mahler: Symphonie No 2
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 415959 Release Date: 03/17/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Rosalind Plowright
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 11.
    Verdi: Il Trovatore Highlights / Giulini, Plowright, Domingo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 415285 Release Date: 03/17/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Rosalind Plowright,  Placido Domingo,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Giorgio Zancanaro  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Orchestra,  Santa Cecilia Academy Rome Chorus
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  • 12.
    Highlights From Arena Di Verona - Favorite Opera Arias
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4441 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Nicola Martinucci,  Ghena Dimitrova,  Rosalind Plowright,  Vladimir Atlantov  ... 
    On sale! $19.99
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  • 13.
    Metropolitan Opera Live in HD - Humperdinck: Hansel und Gretel
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 6308 Release Date: 09/16/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck
    Performer:  Lisette Oropesa,  Sasha Cooke,  Alice Coote,  Alan Held  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Jurowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Metropolitan Opera Chorus
    On sale! $24.99
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  • 14.
    Opera Stories: An In-Depth Look At Ten Operas
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4228 Release Date: 09/04/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Umberto Giordano
    Performer:  Vladimir Atlantov,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Fiorenza Cossotto  ... 
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  • 15.
    Opera In English - Humperdinck: Hansel & Gretel / Mackerras
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3143 Release Date: 07/31/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck
    Performer:  Diana Montague,  Sarah Coppen,  Jane Henschel,  Jennifer Larmore  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New London Children's Choir
    Recommendation
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  • 16.
    Truly Domingo
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000719102 Release Date: 10/10/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Traditional,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Ernesto De Curtis  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Carlos Alvarez,  Verónica Villarroel,  Carlos Chausson  ... 
    Conductor:  Rafael Kubelik,  Miguel Roa,  Valery Gergiev,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Madrid Symphony Orchestra,  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 17.
    Offenbach: Les Contes D'hoffmann / Cambreling, Schicoff, Etc
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 58613 Release Date: 08/29/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach
    Performer:  Neil Shicoff,  Ann Murray,  Dale Duesing,  Stefan Dimitrov  ... 
    Conductor:  Sylvain Cambreling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Chorus
    On sale! $36.98
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  • 18.
    Verdi: La Forza Del Destino / Sinopoli, Plowright, Baltsa
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000576602 Release Date: 01/10/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Richard Van Allan,  José Carreras,  Paata Burchuladze,  Petteri Salomaa  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Opera Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers
    Recommendation
    On sale! $23.98
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  • 19.
    Verdi: Il Trovatore / Plowright, Zancanaro, Cossotto, Bonisolli, Et Al
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2839 Release Date: 06/28/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Rosalind Plowright,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Giorgio Zancanaro,  Franco Bonisolli
    Conductor:  Reynald Giovaninetti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Verona Teatro Arena Chorus,  Verona Teatro Arena Orchestra
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  • 20.
    Donizetti: Mary Stuart / Baker, Mackerras
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2808 Release Date: 04/26/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti
    Performer:  Angela Bostock,  Alan Opie,  Rosalind Plowright,  John Tomlinson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English National Opera Chorus,  English National Opera Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 21.
    Puccini: Il Trittico / Cappuccili, Sass, Plowright, Pons, Et Al
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2037 Release Date: 02/17/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Rosalind Plowright,  Piero Cappuccilli,  Juan Pons,  Sylvia Sass
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Gavazzeni
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  • 22.
    The Voice of Opera - Tebaldi, Horne, Pavarotti...
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000024602 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten,  George Gershwin,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Pears,  Roberta Alexander,  Simon Estes,  Helen Donath  ... 
    Conductor:  Benjamin Britten,  Leonard Slatkin,  Sir Georg Solti,  Eugen Jochum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $17.99
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  • 23.
    Rapture - Opera's Most Heavenly Moments
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471717 Release Date: 10/08/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Georges Bizet,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marilyn Horne,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Teresa Berganza,  Mirella Freni  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Richard Bonynge,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Sir Colin Davis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $16.99
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  • 24.
    Offenbach: Les Contes D'hoffmann Highlights / Cambreling, Schicoff, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65574 Release Date: 09/10/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach
    Performer:  Joan Plowright,  Jocelyne Taillon,  José Van Dam,  Neil Shicoff  ... 
    Conductor:  Sylvain Cambreling
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Orchestra,  Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie Chorus
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  • 25.
    Mahler - The Complete Recordings / Sinopoli, Philharmonia
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 471451 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Bernd Weikl,  Iris Vermillion,  Keith Lewis,  Brigitte Fassbaender  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Shinyukai Choir  ... 
    CD: $143.99
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