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Monica Sinclair (1925 - 2002)

The English contralto Monica Sinclair (1925–2002) was born in Evercreech, Somerset, and studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She made her stage début in 1948, singing Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, with the Carl Rosa Opera. The following year she joined the Covent Garden Company performing the Second Boy in The Magic Flute and also sang Maddalena in Rigoletto, Mrs Sedley in Peter Grimes, Feodor in Boris Godunov, Suzuki, and Rosette in Manon, Flosshilde in Das Rheingold and Siegrune in Die Walküre. She also created the parts of a Heavenly Body in the première of The Pilgrim’s Progress (1951), the Countess of Essex in Britten’s Gloriana in 1953, Evadne in the world première of Walton’s Troilus and Cressida in 1954 and a Voice in the first performance of Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage in 1955. Later she sang Sosostris in that opera as well. She also recorded many of the contralto rôles in Gilbert and Sullivan operettas under Sargent between 1955 and 1962. She made her début at Glyndebourne in 1954 as Ragonde in Rossini’s Le Comte Ory. Other parts that she sang at Glyndebourne included Berta, Dryade in 1957 and Queen Henrietta in I Puritani in 1960. Sinclair was an excellent Handel singer. She retired in 1969.


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