|Dame Felicity Lott was born in
Cheltenham, into a family of amateur musicians. From an early age she
learnt piano and violin, and took singing lessons. Her real love was
the French language and she took a degree in French and Latin at Royal
Holloway College, University of London, with a vague idea of becoming
an interpreter. As part of the degree course, Felicity spent a year as
Assistante d’Anglais in a school near Grenoble. Besides her teaching
duties she enrolled at the Conservatoire de Grenoble and found an
excellent singing teacher who encouraged her to pursue her singing
studies. After returning to England to take her degree, she obtained an
Associated Board scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, where she
studied for four years, leaving in 1973 with the Principal’s Prize.
In 1975 Felicity made her debut 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 also began her long relationship with Glyndebourne, with the role of the Countess in Capriccio on the Tour, and in 1977 she appeared at the Festival for the first time, as Anne Trulove in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. Since then, Felicity has appeared at all the great opera houses of the world : Vienna, Milan, Paris, Brussels, Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin, New York and Chicago. Her many roles include the Marschallin (Rosenkavalier / Strauss), Countess Madeleine (Capriccio / Strauss), Arabella (Strauss), Christine (Intermezzo / Strauss) Countess Almaviva (Le Nozze Di Figaro / Mozart), Fiordiligi (Cosi Fan Tutte / Mozart), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni / Mozart), Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes / Britten), The Governess (The Turn Of The Screw / Britten), Lady Billows (Albert Herring / Britten), Louise (Charpentier), Blanche (Les Dialogues des Carmelites / Poulenc) and Elle (La Voix Humaine / Poulenc). Conductors she has worked with on the opera stage include Andrew Davis, Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Jurowski, Carlos Kleiber, Antonio Pappano and Simon Rattle.
More recently, Felicity has shown her affection for operetta. In 1993 she sang the title role in Lehar's Merry Widow with Glyndebourne Festival Opera on a recording for EMI, but she had sung the role on stage in Nancy as well as in Paris in the 1980's. In 1999 she appeared as Rosalinde in Johann Strauss' Fledermaus in Chicago. Her performance as Hélène in Offenbach's La Belle Hélène at the Chatelet in Paris, in a production directed by Laurent Pelly and conducted by Marc Minkowski brought her a great success in 2000. In the 2004-2005 season Felicity appeared with the same team as Offenbach's La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein.
Felicity is well known as a concert artist, working with all the great conductors and orchestras. She is an experienced recitalist after many years of singing with Graham Johnson, whom she met when they were students at the Royal Academy of Music. Her repertoire includes songs by Strauss, Schubert, Schumann, Wolf and Brahms as well as the masters of French Mélodies. As might be expected, Felicity is also very fond of English songs, particularly those of Benjamin Britten and William Walton. She is a founder member of Graham Johnson’s Songmakers’ Almanac.
Felicity has received many honorary doctorates, including those from the Universities of Oxford, London, Leicester, Sussex, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama Glasgow and the Sorbonne in Paris. By the French Government she was awarded the titles Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1990 and Chevalier dans la Legion d'Honneur in 2001. In 1990 Felicity was made a CBE. In 1996 she was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire. In 2003 Felicity was awarded the title of Bayerische Kammersängerin and in 2010 she was awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal.
-- Biography from her personal website.
-- Names which are links throughout this webpage refer to my interviews elsewhere on this website. BD
To read my Interview with Gianna Rolandi, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Richard Stilwell, click HERE.
To read my Interview with Faith Esham, click HERE.
Felicity Lott in Chicaago
Lyric Opera of Chicago
1987-88 Marriage of Figaro (Countess) with Ramey, Ewing, Raimondi, von Stade, Korn, Kern, Benelli; Davis, Hall
1991-92 Marriage of Figaro (Countess) with Ramey, McLaughlan/Hall, Shimel, Mentzer/von Stade, Loup, Palmer, Benelli; Davis, Hall
1994-95 Capriccio (Countess) with Streit, Gilfrey, Rootering, Finley, Bottone, Lawrence; Davis, Cox, Tallchief
1999-00 Fledermaus (Rosalinda) with Evans, Bottone, Allen, Castle, Nolen, Del Carlo; Hager, Copley, Tallchief
© 1987 Bruce Duffie
This conversation was recorded at her apartment in Chicago on November 19, 1987. Portions were broadcast on WNIB in 1992, 1997 and 2000. This transcription was made in 2014, and posted on this website at that time. My thanks to British soprano Una Barry for her help in preparing this website presentation.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.