Opera Scotland

Florence Austral Suggest updates

Mary Wilson; Mary Favaz (this being her step-father's surname).

Born Melbourne, 26 April 1894.

Died Newcastle, New South Wales, 15 May 1968.

Australian soprano.

Florence Austral was perhaps the leading Wagnerian soprano working in Britain between the wars.  In 1914 she gained a scholarship to study at the Melbourne Conservatory. She moved to New York in 1918 to train under Sibella, subsequently turning down an offer from the Met.  Apart from the UK, she appeared in Australia, the USA and Berlin.

Her UK debut in 1922 was with BNOC as Brünnhilde, later roles including Isolde and Aïda.  The International Seasons at Covent Garden also saw her Brünnhilde - the 1921 season was cancelled but she did appear in 1924, 1929 and 1933.  She also appeared with Sadler's Wells in the pre-war years 1937-9.

Roles in Scotland

Brünnhilde now a mortal
Siegfried 1923
Aïda an Ethiopian slave
Aïda 1925
Isolde an Irish princess
Tristan und Isolde 1932

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