Opera Scotland

Ludmilla Andrew Suggest updates

Milla Andrew.

Born Vancouver 1930.

Died London, 10 August 2019.

Canadian soprano.

For most of her career she was billed as Milla Andrew.  From the 1984 Turandot onwards, she sang under the name Ludmilla Andrew, reflecting her Russian parentage.

Andrew spent the first ten years of her career based in Canada.  Her first appearance with the Canadian Opera Company was in 1954, and she sang Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni in 1958, with Joan Sutherland as Anna.

She moved to London in 1965, making her first appearance at Sadler's Wells in Madam Butterfly.   She repeated it frequently with that company in London and on tour.  Another of her leading parts with Sadler's Wells was Leonora in The Force of Destiny

Andrew appeared with Welsh National Opera as Abigaille Nabucco.   Her repertoire also included Aïda and Tosca. 

Her first appearance at Covent Garden was in 1969 as Player Queen in Hamlet (Humphrey Searle).  She continued to work regularly at the Royal Opera House, generally in short roles such as Gerhilde Die Walküre,  the Overseer Elektra and the Fortune Teller Arabella.   She sang Tosca at Covent Garden in 1981, again as a last minute replacement.   She sang at several continental houses, having particular success as Tosca in Naples.

Opera Rara

Andrew made several concert appearances in the early years of Opera Rara when little known operas by Donizetti were being revived.  These included Rosmonda d'Inghilterra and Maria de Rudenz.   When the company started to make recordings she sang the title role in Gabriella di Vergy.   After retirement from singing she continued her association with the company as language coach and on the Board.


Her first appearance with Scottish Opera was in the 1970 Anthony Besch production of The Turn of the Screw as Miss Jessel.   Andrew sang in many revivals, including several European tours, and in the final run of that staging she switched to Mrs Grose.   Other parts included Donna Anna and Turandot.   She also revealed an unsuspected talent for comedy in a memorably ribald cameo as Berta.

With the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 1983 she sang in haunting performances of Shostakovich's 14th Symphony.

Latterly Andrew taught for many years at the Royal Academy of Music.


There are not many recordings other than Gabriella di Vergy.   She made an excellent recording of songs by Nicolai Medtner.

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