Opera Scotland

Miriam Licette Suggest updates

Born Chester, 9 Sep 1892.

Died Twyford, 11 Aug 1969.

English soprano.

Miriam Licette was one of the most successful British lyric sopranos between the wars. She studied in Milan and Paris with Marchesi, Jean de Reszke, and Sabbatini.

Her official debut occurred in Rome in 1911, as Cio-Cio-San, though clearly she had already performed major roles before travelling to Italy. 

Licette was a leading soprano with Beecham's Company from 1916 to 1920, and she worked with BNOC 1922-8. Important roles during the Covent Garden international seasons from 1919 to 1929 included Marguerite, Mimì, Euridice, Desdemona, Donna Elvira, and Gutrune.

Her Mozart singing was highly regarded as well as her Louise and Juliet. She can be heard as Marguerite in Beecham's 1928 English-language recording of Faust.

James Buchan, critic of the Dundee Advertiser over a forty year period, claimed some credit for discovering her as a young singer. As reported in Buchan's Courier & Advertiser obituary in 1931, he wrote in a complimentary fashion of her performance as Micaëla with the Castellano company -

            'One of his notable discoveries was Miss Miriam Licette, now the Covent Garden star.  Some twenty years ago she appeared in Her Majesty’s Theatre, Dundee, in a small part in Carmen.  Her performance caught the appreciative eye of Mr Buchan, and as a result of what he wrote Miss Licette was given the part of Marguerite in Faust, which was staged on the Saturday night.  This was the beginning of her great success.'

Roles in Scotland

Micaëla a peasant girl
Carmen 1910
Carmen 1913
Carmen 1926
Faust 1910
Pamina daughter of the Queen of Night
Zauberflöte 1913
Desdemona Otello's wife
Otello 1919
Otello 1923
Otello 1925
Otello 1926
Mimì a seamstress
Bohème 1919
Bohème 1926
Eva daughter of Pogner
Mastersingers of Nuremberg 1925
Elisabeth niece of the Landgrave
Tannhäuser 1925
Tannhäuser 1926
Juliette Capulet's daughter
Romeo and Juliet 1926
Cio-Cio-San known as Madam Butterfly
Madam Butterfly 1926
Countess Almaviva
Nozze di Figaro 1926
Rosina Bartolo's ward
Barbiere di Siviglia 1927
Feldmarschallin Marie-Therese, Princess of Werdenberg (the Field-Marshal's wife)
Rosenkavalier 1931
Rosenkavalier 1932

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