Opera Scotland

May Blyth Suggest updates


May Blyth was a leading British lyric soprano of the inter-war period, singing particularly with BNOC, in a range of styles from Mozart (Countess,  Second Lady) to the lighter Wagner roles, including Elsa and Eva. 

Her repertoire eventually also included Mimì, Musetta, Santuzza and Aïda.  Earlier in her career she sang a number of roles more usually associated with mezzo-soprano range, such as Second Norn, Wellgunde, Mercédès, and both the mother and the Witch in Hansel and Gretel (at different performances).  She also sang many performances of 'trouser' roles including Siébel and Nicklausse.

In later years Blyth was an influential teacher at the Royal Academy of Music, where her students included Wendy Eathorne, Gillian Knight and Elizabeth Ritchie.

Blyth was married to the conductor Aylmer Buesst who also worked with BNOC.


She can be heard as Santuzza in an interesting English-language recording of Cavalleria Rusticana made by BNOC in 1927, and conducted by her husband.

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