Opera Scotland

Ava June Suggest updates

Born London, 23 July 1931.

Died Twickenham, 22 February 2013.

English soprano.

Ava June studied in London with Joan Cross as well as Clive Carey, Eva Turner and Denis Dowling. She won First Prize in the Sofia competition in 1963.

She joined the chorus at Sadler's Wells in 1953 as a mezzo, switching to soprano after three years, then quickly graduating to solo roles in the lyric soprano field. She used Sadler's Wells (later ENO) as her home company throughout her career. With ENO she had an extensive repertoire which included numerous Mozart roles (Donna Anna, Countess, Ilia and Pamina) as well as Micaëla, Cio-Cio-San, Violetta, Tosca, Leonore, Marschallin, Kátya, Gloriana, Judith, Elizabeth in Mary Stuart and Magda Sorel in The Consul. Her Wagner parts included Eva, Sieglinde and Gutrune. She later sang some mezzo roles including Mrs Grose and Geneviève. She appeared in the title role of Britten's Gloriana when the company toured to Vienna.

She appeared regularly at Covent Garden from 1958 in roles such as First Lady in Die Zauberflöte, Freia and Gerhilde in the Ring and Marzelline in Fidelio. Other roles in Britain included Ellen Orford with Opera North and Donna Elvira with Scottish Opera. She created roles in several new works. These included Frau Schomberg in Victory by Bennett (Covent Garden 1970), Madame de Libertat and Grande Blanche in Blake's Toussaint (ENO 1977) and Countess Vronskaya in Iain Hamilton's Anna Karenina (ENO 1981).

Elsewhere, she appeared widely abroad, including Belgium, France and Germany, and sang Ellen Orford in San Francisco in 1974. She retired from singing in 1984, teaching in many institutions in Britain and abroad, including the RNCM from 1985-99. Her recordings included extracts from the Sadler's Wells productions of La Traviata and The Bartered Bride and a complete recording of The Turn of the Screw.

Roles in Scotland

Inez confidante of Leonora
Trovatore 1957
Micaëla a peasant girl
Carmen 1959
Carmen 1963
Maddalena Madeleine de Coigny
Andrea Chénier 1960
Lisa Lichtenfels a Viennese countess
Land of Smiles 1961
Violetta Valéry a courtesan
Traviata 1961
Traviata 1963
Traviata 1967
Donna Elvira a lady from Burgos
Don Giovanni 1965
Norina a young widow
Don Pasquale 1967
Judith Bluebeard's new wife
Duke Bluebeard's Castle 1972
Gutrune a Gibichung, Gunther's sister
Götterdämmerung 1976
Sieglinde a Volsung, sister of Siegmund
Valkyrie 1976

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