Opera Scotland

Anna Reynolds Suggest updates

Ann Reynolds.

Born Canterbury, 4 October 1931.

Died Peesten, Bavaria, 24 February 2014.

English mezzo-soprano.

Anna Reynolds enjoyed a long international career in opera and concert, singing Wagner at Bayreuth and the New York Met. A curious feature is that she lived and worked mainly abroad, with operatic appearances in Britain restricted largely to Scottish Opera.

Reynolds trained in London at the Royal Academy of Music, principally as a pianist, before moving to Rome, where she switched to voice. Her debut at Parma in 1960 was as Suzuki, and she appeared regularly at most of the Italian houses, singing Purcell's Dido in Como, though not working at La Scala until 1973 (as Geneviève). Her first appearance at the Aix-en-Provence Festival came in 1966 and at the Salzburg Festival in 1968. Major Wagner appearances included the Met in 1968 (Flosshilde) and '69 (Fricka), conducted and directed by Karajan. From 1970 to 1975 she appeared annually at Bayreuth, in the Ring and Die Meistersinger.

Reynolds had an extensive concert career on the continent, and worked with most of the major British orchestras. She made an American tour with the Munich Bach Choir, also appearing with the New York Philharmonic and Cleveland Orchestras.

Her first operatic roles in Britain were in 1962 at Glyndebourne, as Geneviève, and as Aspasia in Rossini's Pietra del paragone. Reynolds returned in 1967 for Annina in Der Rosenkavalier. The same year saw her at Covent Garden as Adelaide in Arabella, and she also sang with the Royal Opera in 1975 as Andromache (Tippett's King Priam).

Scottish Opera

Reynolds built up a strong relationship with Scottish Opera from her first appearances in 1966 (Mrs Herring and Schwertleite) rarely missing a season through to 1973 and being closely associated with the first Ring cycle, as well as Dorabella and Geneviève (which she sang with them in London, at Sadler's Wells).


Operatic recordings are few. However, they include Magdalene in the Bayreuth Meistersinger (conducted by Varviso and recorded in 1974), Madame Larina in Eugene Onegin (Solti 1974) and Federica in Luisa Miller (Maag 1975, with Caballé and Pavarotti).

Vocal and choral recordings include Beethoven Symphony No9 (Jochum 1969), Dvořák Stabat Mater (Kubelik 1976), Handel Messiah (Marriner 1976), Mahler Songs of a Wayfarer (Britten 1972) and Verdi Requiem (Giulini 1963 - a live Prom).

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