Opera Scotland

Margaret Kingsley Suggest updates

Born Cornwall.

English soprano and mezzo-soprano.

Margaret Kingsley had an international career as a dramatic soprano, especially singing roles by Verdi and Wagner, before switching to dramatic mezzo roles for a number of years.

She studied in London at the Royal College of Music, and joined the chorus at Glyndebourne, where early solo appearances included First Lady in Die Zauberflöte (1966). In 1969 she sang Lady Macbeth on the Glyndebourne Tour, and made her debut with Sadler's Wells as Lisa in The Queen of Spades, followed by Ariadne. Later soprano parts with Sadler's Wells included Gutrune and Brünnhilde. With the Royal Opera, her roles included Ortlinde in Die Walküre, the Overseer in Elektra and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera.

Her first international appearance came in March 1970, singing Lady Macbeth as a late replacement in Brussels. Later that year she sang her first Brünnhilde in Die Walküre in Hanover. It became her most important role, with performances at the Vienna State Opera, Stuttgart, Munich, Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Lyon, Stockholm and Naples.

The Walküre-Brunnhilde was also the role of her Scottish Opera debut, again as a late stand-in, during the 1971 Ring Cycle. She repeated it the following spring, returning in autumn 1972 for Cassandra in The Trojans, and later appeared as Leonore in Fidelio.

From 1979, she sang as a dramatic mezzo-soprano with a repertoire that included Verdi (Amneris, Azucena, Eboli), as well as Wagner (Waltraute), Janáček (Kostelnička) and Prokofiev (Anna Akhrosimova in War and Peace).  She appeared frequently with ENO, and in 1984 toured with them to North America. War and Peace featured in the company's repertoire at the New York Met.

In addition to her operatic career she maintained a varied concert workload and sang with many of the major orchestras. Margaret Kingsley went on to teach both privately and as a Professor at the Royal College of Music where she was made a Fellow in 1994. She has worked extensively in France, teaching in Paris and Strasbourg. She also gave masterclasses in Gothenburg.

Roles in Scotland

Prima Donna Ariadne in the opera
Ariadne on Naxos 1969
Brünnhilde a Valkyrie
Valkyrie 1971
Valkyrie 1972
Cassandra a prophetess (Cassandre)
Trojans 1972
Ghost of Cassandra
Trojans 1972
Leonore Florestan's wife, disguised as Fidelio
Fidelio 1974

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