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
Browse 1-25 of 33 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Mozart: Die Entfuhrung Aus Dem Serail / Davies, Masterson, Watson, Kuhn
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 102310 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Lillian Watson,  Valerie Masterson,  Ryland Davies,  Willard White  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustav Kuhn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
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  • 2.
    Handel: Xerxes / Murray, Masterson, Robson, Mackerras
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 100077 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Christopher Booth-Jones,  Rodney Macann,  Jean Rigby,  Lesley Garrett  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English National Opera Chorus,  English National Opera Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Gilbert & Sullivan Edition / D'Oyly Carte Opera Company [25-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001566702 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Arthur Sullivan
    Performer:  Jeanette Roach,  Daphne Gill,  Ceinwen Jones,  Mary Sansom  ... 
    Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey,  Royston Nash,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Sir Malcolm Sargent  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Symphony Orchestra,  D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 4.
    The Very Best Of Gilbert & Sullivan /  D'oyly Carte Opera Company
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001565902 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arthur Sullivan
    Performer:  Pauline Wales,  Valerie Masterson,  Peggy Ann Jones,  Colin [Tenor Vocal] Wright  ... 
    Conductor:  Royston Nash,  Isidore Godfrey,  Sir Malcolm Sargent
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  • 5.
    Handel: Julius Caesar / Charles Mackerras, Janet Baker, James Bowman, Della Jones
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4569 Release Date: 02/22/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  John Tomlinson,  Della Jones,  Dame Janet Baker,  James Bowman  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English National Opera Orchestra,  English National Opera Chorus
    Recommendation
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  • 6.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 924133 Release Date: 10/26/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arthur Sullivan
    Performer:  Robert Dawe,  Thomas Edmonds,  Jeffrey Skitch,  Gillian Knight  ... 
    Conductor:  James Christiansen,  Isidore Godfrey,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Royston Nash  ... 
    On sale! $47.99
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  • 7.
    Got Rot Tunbridge Wells [soundtrack] / Sir Charles Mackerras, Emma Kirkby, Et Al
    Label: Voiceprint   Catalog: 1508 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  James Bowman,  Elizabeth Harwood,  Judith Howarth,  Lynn Anderson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 8.
    Il Banchetto Musicale Di Signor Rossini
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 434958 Release Date: 08/05/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Diana Montague,  Maryse Castets,  Sumi Jo,  Raquel Pierotti  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Claudio Scimone,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lyon Opera Orchestra,  Lyon Opera Chorus,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chorus  ... 
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  • 9.
    God Rot Tunbridge Wells - The Life Of Georg Frederic Handel
    Label: Tony Palmer Films   Catalog: TPDVD114 Release Date: 06/24/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  John Shirley-Quirk,  James Bowman,  Anthony Rolfe Johnson,  Valerie Masterson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Rossini: Elisabetta / Masini, Caballe, Carreras, Masterson
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 432453 Release Date: 04/07/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Ugo Benelli,  Montserrat Caballé,  José Carreras,  Valerie Masterson  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianfranco Masini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ambrosian Singers,  London Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale! $31.98
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  • 11.
    Delius: Hassan;  Elgar: The Starlight Express / Handley
    Label: Emi Studio   Catalog: 69891 Release Date: 02/06/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Frederick Delius,  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Martyn Hill,  Brian Rayner Cook,  Valerie Masterson,  Derek Hammond-Stroud
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Sinfonietta Chorus,  Bournemouth Sinfonietta,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    On sale! $29.98
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  • 12.
    Elgar - The Collector's Edition [30-Disc Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 03603 Release Date: 11/06/2007   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Charles Hubert Parry,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Hugh Bean,  David Parkhouse,  John Ogdon,  Herbert Sumsion  ... 
    Conductor:  Vernon Handley,  Sir Charles Groves,  Sir John Barbirolli,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Allegri String Quartet  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 13.
    Mozart: Die Entführung Aus Dem Serail / Davies, Masterson, Watson, Kuhn
    Label: Arthaus Musik   Catalog: 101091 Release Date: 08/16/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Lillian Watson,  Valerie Masterson,  Ryland Davies,  Willard White  ... 
    Conductor:  Gustav Kuhn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Glyndebourne Festival Chorus,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Gilbert & Sullivan - Greatest Hits
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 000234002 Release Date: 05/11/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Sullivan
    Performer:  Owen Brannigan,  Jean Allister,  Valerie Masterson,  John Reed  ... 
    Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Royston Nash
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus,  Grenadier Guards Band,  New Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado / Godfrey, D'oyly Carte Opera (1966 Film)
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4247 Release Date: 09/30/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Sullivan
    Performer:  Donald Adams,  Valerie Masterson,  Philip Potter,  John Reed
    Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
    On sale! $39.95
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  • 16.
    Gilbert & Sullivan: Pirates Of Penzance / Godfrey, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000018702 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arthur Sullivan
    Performer:  Owen Brannigan,  Donald Adams,  George Cook,  Pauline Wales  ... 
    Conductor:  Isidore Godfrey
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
    CD: $16.99
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  • 17.
    Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado / D'oyly Carte Opera Company
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000018402 Release Date: 05/13/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arthur Sullivan
    Performer:  Valerie Masterson,  John Ayldon,  John Reed,  Kenneth Sandford  ... 
    Conductor:  Royston Nash
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus
    CD: $16.99
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  • 18.
    Opera In English - Baroque Celebration
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3078 Release Date: 03/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Henry Purcell
    Performer:  John Tomlinson,  Diana Montague,  Yvonne Kenny,  Della Jones  ... 
    Conductor:  David Parry,  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  English National Opera Orchestra
    CD not available
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  • 19.
    Opera In English - Wagner: The Ring Cycle / Goodall, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3065 Release Date: 07/24/2001   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Anne Collins,  Norman Bailey,  Alberto Remedios,  Sarah Walker  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Goodall
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English National Opera Orchestra,  English National Opera Chorus,  Sadler's Wells Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $199.99
    CD: $149.99
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  • 20.
    Opera In English - Wagner: Twilight Of The Gods / Goodall
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3060 Release Date: 07/24/2001   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Rita Hunter,  Norman Welsby,  Aage Haugland,  Derek Hammond-Stroud  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Goodall
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English National Opera Orchestra,  English National Opera Chorus
    On sale! $49.99
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  • 21.
    Opera In English - Verdi Celebration In English
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3067 Release Date: 06/26/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Susan Bullock,  Dennis O'Neill,  Valerie Masterson,  John Brecknock  ... 
    Conductor:  David Parry,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Mark Elder
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  English National Opera Chorus,  English National Opera Orchestra  ... 
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  • 22.
    Opera In English - Wagner: The Rhinegold / Goodall, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3054 Release Date: 05/22/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Anne Collins,  Shelagh Squires,  Emile Belcourt,  Katherine Pring  ... 
    Conductor:  Reginald Goodall
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English National Opera Orchestra,  English National Opera Chorus
    On sale! $24.99
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  • 23.
    Opera In English - Verdi: La Traviata / Mackerras, Masterson
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3023 Release Date: 07/20/1999   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  John Brecknock,  Valerie Masterson,  Christian Du Plessis,  John Gibbs  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English National Opera Orchestra,  English National Opera Chorus
    On sale! $29.99
    CD: $22.99
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  • 24.
    En Francais - Airs D'opera / Valerie Masterson, Et Al
    Label: Jay Records   Catalog: 1318 Release Date: 06/15/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Georges Bizet,  Jules Massenet,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Valerie Masterson
    Conductor:  John Owen Edwards
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony, Washington, D. C.
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 25.
    Opera In English - Handel: Julius Caesar / Mackerras, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3019 Release Date: 05/18/1999   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  James Bowman,  Della Jones,  Valerie Masterson,  Dame Janet Baker  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English National Opera Chorus,  English National Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $44.99
    CD: $34.99
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