Opera Scotland

Beatrice Miranda Suggest updates

Born Melbourne, 1884.

Died Buffalo, NY, 1964.

Australian soprano.

Beatrice Miranda had a notable career as a versatile operatic soprano. Both her parents, David Miranda (Spanish) and Annette Hirst (from Yorkshire) were singers. Her elder sister Lalla Miranda (1876-1948) enjoyed a very successful career, particularly on the continent and in the USA (where she sang in Rigoletto with Caruso). Early Scottish interest arises from the sisters' uncle, Samuel Hirst, an organist and conductor who moved from Huddersfield to Dundee and spent over five decades as an influential figure in the musical life of North-East Scotland.

Beatrice Miranda started, like her sister, as a coloratura soprano, and sang Gilda at Covent Garden in 1909. Her Carl Rosa repertoire initially included Philine and Queen of Night, though she was quickly able to take on Leonora and heavier lyric roles, eventually singing Elsa and Elisabeth. In Bradford on 6 Feb 1922 she sang in the opening performance of BNOC, as Aïda. She also appeared at Covent Garden as Tosca (with Joseph Hislop and Dinh Gilly), and as Sieglinde. Her repertoire eventually included Brünnhilde and Isolde, and she recorded brief extracts from both roles.

She married baritone Hebden Foster, also a leading Carl Rosa artist. From 1924 on, they lived in Edinburgh, taught singing, and continued with concert and recital work, rather than opera. They were leading enthusiasts in the encouragement of amateur performing groups in the city. It may have been their influence that brought Joseph Hislop back to Edinburgh for some performances in 1929.

In Opera, January 1970, reviewing a book Singers of Australia, Lord Harewood quotes an anecdote from Joan Cross about Beatrice Miranda. It seems that at very short notice during a Sadler’s Wells tour of Scotland in the Second World War (actually 1941), Miranda came out of retirement to save a performance of Butterfly. Cross, whose indisposition had caused the crisis, was thrilled by the brilliance and power of the elderly soprano's top notes.

Beatrice Miranda died in the USA while on a visit to stay with her daughter.

Roles in Scotland

Elsa von Brabant sister of the missing Count Gottfried
Lohengrin 1909
Lohengrin 1914
Lohengrin 1921
Elisabeth niece of the Landgrave
Tannhäuser 1909
Tannhäuser 1918
Tannhäuser 1919
Tannhäuser 1921
Tannhäuser 1924
Donna Anna the Commendatore's daughter
Don Giovanni 1909
Nedda Canio's wife
Pagliacci 1909
Pagliacci 1916
Pagliacci 1917
Pagliacci 1918
Pagliacci 1919
Pagliacci 1920
Pagliacci 1921
Pagliacci 1925
Marguerite
Faust 1910
Faust 1915
Faust 1925
Mrs Ford Frau Fluth, wife of Ford
Lustigen Weiber von Windsor 1910
Lustigen Weiber von Windsor 1912
Lustigen Weiber von Windsor 1918
Lustigen Weiber von Windsor 1920
Philine an actress
Mignon 1911
Mignon 1912
Mignon 1913
Mignon 1916
Queen of Night
Zauberflöte 1913
Zauberflöte 1914
Zauberflöte 1916
Zauberflöte 1917
Leonora a Duchess, lady-in-waiting to the Princess of Aragon
Trovatore 1913
Trovatore 1918
Trovatore 1919
Aïda an Ethiopian slave
Aïda 1916
Aïda 1917
Aïda 1921
Aïda 1922
Françoise the miller's daughter
Attaque du Moulin 1916
Attaque du Moulin 1917
Gilda Rigoletto's daughter
Rigoletto 1917
Giulietta a courtesan
Tales of Hoffmann 1917
Cio-Cio-San known as Madam Butterfly
Madam Butterfly 1917
Madam Butterfly 1918
Madam Butterfly 1919
Madam Butterfly 1921
Madam Butterfly 1924
Madam Butterfly 1941
Beatrice
Dante and Beatrice 1918
Floria Tosca a famous singer
Tosca 1919
Marga
Stella Maris 1920
Isolde an Irish princess
Tristan und Isolde 1920
Maliella adopted daughter of Carmela
Jewels of the Madonna 1920
Sieglinde a Volsung, sister of Siegmund
Valkyrie 1921
Marchesa
Goldsmith of Toledo 1922
Santuzza a village girl
Cavalleria Rusticana 1925
Brünnhilde Siegfried's lover
Götterdämmerung 1927
Choreography
Hérodiade 1931
Cid 1932
Conductor
Mignon 1957

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