Opera Scotland

June Bronhill Suggest updates

June Gough (Bronhill was adapted from her birthplace).

Born Broken Hill, NSW, 26 June 1929.
Died Sydney, 25 January 2005.

Australian soprano. OBE 1976.

June Bronhill studied in Australia, and joined Sadler’s Wells in 1954 where her early roles included Gretel, Lady Harriet and Esmeralda. Later she sang Queen of Night, Gilda and Norina. In 1961 she was Zerbinetta and took the title role in the British premiere of The Cunning Little Vixen.

She specialised in Sadler’s Wells operetta productions, beginning in 1958 with The Merry Widow which she sang over 200 times, later adding Orpheus in the Underworld, La Vie Parisienne and The Gypsy Baron. Like many of the regular team who performed these works, her English diction had an effortless clarity which singers of a later age find almost impossible to emulate.

In 1962 she went to Australia for Maria in The Sound of Music. In 1964 she appeared in the West End with Keith Michell in Ron Grainer’s musical Robert and Elizabeth, which also toured in Australia.

Her only appearance at Covent Garden came in 1959, when she followed Joan Sutherland as Lucia. She appeared with the English Opera Group in 1974 as Magda in La Rondine (directed by David Pountney). Several of her operetta roles were recorded.

Roles in Scotland

Lady Harriet Durham Maid of Honour to Queen Anne
Martha 1957
Esmeralda a dancer
Bartered Bride 1957
Hanna Glawari a wealthy young widow
Lustige Witwe 1958

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