Ann Murray (2 October)
One of today’s most celebrated mezzo-sopranos, Dublin-born Ann Murray began her career after studies with Frederick Cox at the Royal Manchester College of Music. Her roles with English National Opera (Handel’s Xerxes and Ariodante; Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda) and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (including the roles of Cherubino, Dorabella, Donna Elvira, Rosina and Octavian among many others) have made her a household name among opera lovers. Her work on the recital platform is no less prolific. She was a founder-member of Graham Johnson’s ensemble of singers, The Songmakers’ Almanac, dedicated to explore both the central song repertoire and its byways, and has sung on practically every recital stage, both in the major festivals and in musical capitals throughout the world. Her concert career is similarly extensive, encompassing work with conductors of the calibre of Sir Colin Davis, Sir Charles Mackerras, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, James Levine, Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Georg Solti.
She is an honorary Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.