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Open Features: Joan Cross

Peter Wintersgill outlines the career of Joan Cross, principal soprano at Sadlers Wells for 15 years.

7th September, 1900, in London.

Studied at St. Paul's Girls School, London.

Adult life
She joined the chorus of the Old Vic in 1924. Principal soprano at Sadlers Wells 1931-46. Covent Garden debut 1931, sang there 1947-54.

She was a founder member of the English Opera Group 1946. Established National School of Opera 1948. Produced operas at Sadlers Wells, Covent Garden, Oslo, Amsterdam and Toronto.

Joint translator of Smetana' s Bartered Bride. Created roles of Ellen Orford in Britten's Peter Grimes 1945 and Queen Elizabeth I in Gloriana 1953. Received the CBE award in 1951.

She died in 1993.


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