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Ann Murray


Ann Murray was born in Dublin and studied with Frederick Cox at the Royal Manchester College of Music. She has established close links with both the English National Opera, for whom she has sung the title roles in Handel Xerxes and Ariodante and Donizetti Maria Stuarda, and with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where her roles have included Cherubino (Mozart Le nozze di Figaro), Dorabella (Mozart Cosi fan tutte), Donna Elvira (Mozart Don Giovanni), Rosina (Rossini Il barbiere di Siviglia), Octavian (Strauss Der Rosenkavalier), Child (Ravel L'Enfant et les Sortilèges), Composer (Ariadne auf Naxos), Idamante (Mozart Idomeneo), Sifare (Mozart Mitridate, Re di Ponto), Dorabella (Mozart Cosi fan tutte), Amaltea (Rossini Mosé in Egitto), Ruggiero (Handel Alcina), the title role in Handel Giulio Cesare, Witch (Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel), Marquise de Berkenfield (Donizetti La Fille du régiment) and Marcellina (Mozart Le nozze di Figaro).

Much sought after as a concert singer, Ann has sung with the Orchestre de Paris under Rafael Kubelik, the Philadelphia Orchestra under Wolfgang Sawallisch, the Berliner Philharmoniker under Riccardo Muti, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Sir Bernard Haitink and in the Musikverein, Vienna under Sawallisch and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. She sings in Great Britain with the leading orchestras, at the BBC Promenade Concerts (where she has sung at both the First and Last Nights of the Proms) and at the major festivals.

Ann’s recital appearances have taken her to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Geneva, Dresden, Zurich, Frankfurt, Madrid, London, Dublin, the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Munich and Salzburg Festivals and both the Konzerthaus and Musikverein in Vienna. Her discography reflects not only her broad concert and recital repertoire but also many of her great operatic roles, including Dido in Purcell Dido and Aeneas under Harnoncourt, Dorabella under James Levine, Cherubino under Muti, Hansel under Sir Colin Davis, Sextus (Mozart La clemenza di Tito) under Harnoncourt and Donna Elvira under Solti.

Her operatic engagements have taken her to Hamburg, Dresden, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Cologne, Zurich, Amsterdam, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. At Teatro alla Scala, Milan her roles have included Donna Elvira, Sextus, Dorabella and Cherubino under Muti. For the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich she has sung Cherubino, Dorabella, Sextus, Elvira, the Composer, Octavian, Xerxes, Ariodante, Giulio Cesare and Rinaldo; at the Wiener Staatsoper Idamante, Cherubino, Charlotte (Massenet Werther), Rosina, Octavian and the Composer; and at the Salzburg Festival Cecilio (Mozart Lucio Silla) and Sextus under Sylvain Cambreling, Araiza (Rossini La Cenerentola) under Riccardo Chailly, Nicklausse (Offenbach Les Contes d’Hoffmann) and Cherubino under Levine, Dorabella and Donna Elvira under Muti and Octavian under Lorin Maazel. Recent opera engagements have included return visits to English National Opera (Vaughan Williams The Pilgrim’s Progress, Mrs Grose in Britten The Turn of the Screw), Welsh National Opera (Countess, Tchaikovsky Pique Dame), Royal Opera (Witch, Marquise de Berkenfield and Marcellina), Opera de Paris (Marcellina), Metropolitan Opera, New York (Marcellina and Marquise de Berkenfield), Glyndebourne Festival (Marcellina), her debut with Los Angeles Opera (Mrs Grose), and returns to the Salzburg Festival as Marcellina and the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin as Mrs Grose.

This season Ann gives masterclasses for Oxford Lieder, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Basel Opera Studio, the Samling Foundation, the Amsterdam Conservatoire and the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe.

In 1997 Ann was made an Honorary Doctor of Music by the National University of Ireland, in 1998 she was made a Kammersängerin of the Bayerische Staatsoper and in 1999 an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. In the 2002 Golden Jubilee Queen’s Birthday Honours she was appointed an honorary Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. In 2004 she was awarded the Bavarian Order of Merit and in 2016 she was awarded the Wigmore Hall Gold Medal.

Last updated: Jul 2019