Opera Scotland

Florence Easton Suggest updates

Florence Gertrude Easton.

Born Middlesbrough, 25 October 1884.

Died New York, 13 August 1955.

English soprano.

Florence Easton had a long career as an astonishingly versatile soprano, able to continue singing lyric roles even when her repertoire was centred on the heaviest dramatic parts, such as Isolde, Brünnhilde, Elektra and Turandot.

She studied in London at the Royal College of Music and in Paris, making her professional debut in 1903 as the Shepherd in Tannhäuser with Moody-Manners in Newcastle. In 1905 she transferred to the Henry Savage Company.

It is an odd feature of her career that she was based in Germany for ten years, including the last two when Britain and Germany were at war. From 1907 to 1913 she lived in Berlin, moving to the Hamburg company from 1913-16. Before the outbreak of war she had returned to Britain to sing leading roles with the Denhof company, as did her husband, the tenor Francis Maclennan.

In 1917 she moved to the USA, one of her first engagements being to create the part of Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi when it was launched at the New York Met. She continued to work at the Met until 1929, returning for the 1935-6 season. In 1927 she created a second role there, Aelfrida in The King's Henchman by Deems Taylor.

She appeared in Britain again later in her career, singing at Covent Garden in 1927 (Turandot) and 1932 (Brünnhilde, Isolde). She also worked at Sadler's Wells in 1934, performing Tosca.

Roles in Scotland

Freia sister of Fricka and goddess of love and spring
Rheingold 1910
Sieglinde a Volsung, sister of Siegmund
Valkyrie 1910
Valkyrie 1911
Gutrune a Gibichung, Gunther's sister
Götterdämmerung 1910
Götterdämmerung 1911
Elektra daughter of Klytämnestra and Agamemnon
Elektra 1912
Eva daughter of Pogner
Mastersingers of Nuremberg 1912

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