Opera Scotland

Norma Burrowes Suggest updates

Born Bangor, Co. Down, 24 April 1944.

Northern Irish soprano.

Norma Burrowes was one of the most brilliantly successful coloratura sopranos of her generation. She trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London, with Flora Neilsen then Rupert Bruce-Lockhart. As a student she sang several roles including Thérèse (Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tirésias), Poppea and Magda in La rondine.

Her professional debut in 1970 was as Zerlina on the Glyndebourne Tour, and she returned to them the following season as Fiorilla. Also in 1970 she sang Philidel with the English Opera Group. 1971 saw her debuts at both Covent Garden (Fiakermilli in Arabella) and the Salzburg Festival (Blonde). This last was a role she sang frequently for ENO, Netherlands Opera and in Paris, and it was also the role of her debut at the New York Met in 1979. In 1977 she sang Despina at Aix and in Toronto she was seen as Marie in La fille du régiment.

She worked at Glyndebourne from 1970 to 1981, singing roles such as Papagena, the Vixen, Pamina and Susanna. Her Covent Garden roles included Jano, Naiad, Woodbird, Nannetta, Despina and Oscar. At ENO, as well as Blonde, she sang Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) and Zdenka (Arabella). Her roles with Scottish Opera included Zerbinetta, Sophie, Belinda and Gilda.

She retired from singing in 1982 and went to live and teach in Canada.

Roles in Scotland

Philidel an Airy Spirit
King Arthur 1970
Donna Fiorilla Geronio's wife
Turco in Italia 1971
Zerbinetta a comedian
Ariadne on Naxos 1975
Sophie Sophie von Faninal, his daughter
Rosenkavalier 1978
Belinda a lady in waiting
Dido and Aeneas 1978
Gilda Rigoletto's daughter
Rigoletto 1979

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