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The English soprano Dame Felicity Lott was born in Cheltenham on 8 May 1947 and started learning the piano when she was five, having her first singing lesson at the age of twelve. At first she decided against a professional singing career and read French and Latin at London University to become an interpreter. During a stay in France she continued taking singing lessons at the Conservatoire of Grenoble, and in 1969, returned to London to take up her singing studies at the Royal Academy of Music. In 1975 she made her début at the English National Opera as Pamina in Mozart’s Magic Flute, in 1976 she took part in the first performance of Henze’s opera We come to the River at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. In that year she also began her long relationship with Glyndebourne, where, after rejecting her for the chorus three times, she was offered the rôle of the Countess in Capriccio for the touring opera, and in 1977 she appeared at the Festival for the first time, as Anne Trulove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. Since then, Dame Felicity Lott has appeared at all the great opera houses of the world, including Vienna, Milan, Paris, Brussels, Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin, New York and Chicago in rôles ranging from Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte to The Governess in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and Blanche in Poulenc’s Les dialogues des carmélites. She has also turned her attention to operetta, singing the title rôle in Lehár’s Merry Widow at Glyndebourne in 1993, and appearing in Die Fledermaus in Chicago and in La belle Hélène in Paris. As a concert artist, too, Dame Felicity has worked with nearly all major orchestras and festivals under such conductors as Carlos Kleiber, Georg Solti, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, André Previn, Neeme Järvi, Klaus Tennstedt, Andrew Davis, Kurt Masur and many more. Her repertoire includes among others works by Handel, Bach, Mahler, Brahms, Elgar and Walton. She also has an unrivalled reputation in song repertoire, Lieder, chansons and songs by British composers. Her affection for songs is reflected in her founder membership in the Songmakers’ Almanac, founded in 1976 by the pianist Graham Johnson, her accompanist since student days. Dame Felicity has received honorary doctorates from the Universities of Sussex, Loughborough, London, Leicester, Oxford and from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. By the French Government she was awarded the titles Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1990 and Chevalier dans la Légion d’Honneur in 2001. In 1990 Felicity Lott was also made a CBE, and in 1996 she was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire.

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6:59:55 AM, 29 November 2015
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