Opera Scotland

Joan Clarkson Suggest updates

Scottish mezzo-soprano.

Joan Clarkson studied in Manchester and at the Royal College of Music, then spent some years in the Sadler’s Wells Chorus. She joined the English Opera Group for the 1963 Aldeburgh Festival and its 1964 Russian tour. She also appeared with the Handel Opera Society and at the Camden Festival. From 1966 she worked in Germany, as principal mezzo at Aachen, singing roles such as Amneris, Ortrud, and Orfeo. At Ghent she sang Miss Wingrave in 1974.

Her appearances with Scottish Opera were as Hecuba, Mrs Herring, and Grimgerde. Later roles at English National Opera in the 1970s included Grimgerde and Azucena. With Opera North she sang Gertrude in Hansel and Gretel and with Welsh National Ludmila in The Bartered Bride. With Basilica Opera she sang both Azucena and Gertrude. Her roles with Phoenix Opera included Mrs Peachum, Marcellina and Mrs Herring.

One of her English Opera Group roles from 1963, Mrs Slammekin in The Beggar's Opera, was televised, and has been released on DVD.

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