Opera Scotland

Alice Esty Suggest updates

Born Lowell, Massachusetts 1864.

Died Farnham, Surrey, February 1935.

American (later British) soprano.

Alice Esty had an important career that included appearances at the New York Met and at Covent Garden. During the last decade of the nineteenth century she sang leading parts with the Carl Rosa company. Particularly important, perhaps, were her creation of the roles of Amabel in The Golden Web (1893) and Effie in Jeanie Deans (1894). Other significant characters she presented included Mimì in the first British staging of La bohème (1897). This she sang in the composer's presence, repeating it at the Covent Garden premiere. She also sang Eva in the British premiere of Die Meistersinger.

Esty trained in Boston under Clara Smart. Her first appearance in Britain in 1891 was in concert at the Albert Hall, and this was followed by her first operatic performance (in Belfast) as Micaëla in Carmen. Her operatic repertoire embraced works by Mozart, Meyerbeer, Verdi, Wagner, Gounod, Bizet, Puccini and Mascagni. As well as Carl Rosa, Esty later worked with the Moody-Manners company.

She also had a lengthy concert career, with the Patti Concerts and Richter Concerts, the Royal Choral Society, and the Philharmonic Society, as well as the Hallé Concerts in Manchester. Esty sang extensively in Scotland.

Her husband was the successful English baritone Alec Marsh, a talented singing actor. He also worked with the Carl Rosa company, and they toured Australia together.

Main Source: The Stage, 7 February 1935.

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