Opera Scotland

Linda Ormiston Suggest updates

Scottish mezzo-soprano.

Linda Ormiston has had a successful international career, particularly as a performer of character roles. She spent several seasons with Scottish Opera, and in Britain also worked with Opera North, Glyndebourne, the Handel Opera Society, New Sadler's Wells, Carl Rosa and Welsh National. She appeared regularly at the Buxton Festival. Work abroad included two appearances at the Salzburg Festival. Her recital career was also notable, especially a long series of entertainments with the baritone Donald Maxwell and other friends, under the title The Music Box.

Ormiston studied music and computing at Glasgow University. Her vocal training took place with Winifred Busfield at the RSAMD (1969-72), then with Joy Mammen at the London Opera Centre (1972-74). Her stage debut was as Rossini's Cinderella on an Opera For All tour, and she also sang Olga and Zerlina with them. After a period in the Scottish Opera Chorus, early main stage roles with Scottish Opera included both Ludmila and Háta in The Bartered Bride, Mrs Peachum in The Beggar's Opera, Olga and Filippyevna in Eugene Onegin, Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Second Lady in The Magic Flute, and Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro.

Other British appearances include those with the Handel Opera Society (Amastre in Serse) and Buxton Festival (Háry János and La Colombe). She appeared as Mrs Herring in Albert Herring on the Glyndebourne Tour, and at Glyndebourne itself she sang Feklusha in Kátya Kabanová, Mayor's Wife in Jenůfa and Mother Goose in The Rake's Progress. With Opera North she was seen as She-Ancient in The Midsummer Marriage, Marthe in Faust, Magdelone in Maskarade, Grete's Mother in Schreker's Der ferne Klang and Public Opinion in Orpheus in the Underworld. She has sung several Gilbert and Sullivan parts including Mad Margaret (Ruddigore) and Little Buttercup (HMS Pinafore), both with New Sadler's Wells Opera, and Katisha in The Mikado with Carl Rosa.

Operatic appearances outside the UK include Vancouver and Monte Carlo as well as Florry in Stephen Climax at Brussels (1990). Her two roles at the Salzburg Festival were Mother Goose and the Charlady in The Makropulos Case.

She has created several parts in new works, including Woman Accuser in Confessions of a Justified Sinner (Wilson 1976) and Mary Seton in Mary, Queen of Scots (Musgrave 1977), both with Scottish Opera, and Mathilde in Caritas (Saxton 1991) with Opera North. Recordings include Noye's Fludde, Caritas, HMS Pinafore and Ruddigore on CD and Feklusha and the Mayor's Wife on DVD.

Born Motherwell, 15 January 1948.

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