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Alsop, Ada
1915-1968

Soprano, born in Darlington on 19 March 1915. Her musical career began in April 1936, when the BBC Northumbrian Singers made their radio debut. Eight weeks later she was invited to be a soloist in a concert given by the BBC Northern Orchestra. A music critic wrote that 'she had a voice of rare purity, coupled with an ease of production that added to its natural charm.' She was more at ease with sacred than with secular music. She sang in oratorio with all the leading British choirs, her name being linked with that of Isobel Baillie and Kathleen Ferrier. Through her work on radio and TV she became widely known, making over a hundred broadcasts during the war years and performing frequently with her fellow northerner Owen Brannigan. Her first appearance in a Henry Wood Promenade Concert, in July 1945, was a great success. In 1951, with her husband and manager Harry Hayman, she made a successful American tour arranged by her former minister, A.S. Leyland, the secretary for ministerial exchanges. She made a number of recordings with Decca, including LPs of her favourite hymns and carols. The family tradition was that, having no children of her own, she died of a broken heart in May 1968, just one year after her husband's death.

Sources

  • Methodist Recorder, 28 June 1951
  • John Hufton, sleeve notes for Decca's 'Tribute to Ada Alsop' recording (1969)

Entry written by: JAV
Category: Person

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