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Open Features: Joan Hammond

Peter Wintersgill outlines the career of New Zealand singer Joan Hammond.

Born
24 May, 1912, in Christchurch, New Zealand

Adult Life
Joan Hammond studied at the Sydney Conservatoire. She played the violin in Sydney for three years, then studied singing in Vienna and London.

Her London debut was in 1938 in Messiah. She sang at Covent Garden as Leonora (Trovatore), Leonore (Fidelio) and Aida from 1948 – 1951.

She also sang in opera houses in Vienna, Moscow and the Netherlands. She sang Tatyana in Eugene Onegin and the title role in the English premier of Dvorak’s Rusalka in 1959.

Her strong, vibrant voice and warm personality served well as Tosca and Butterfly.

She worked as a journalist in Australia and was a keen golfer.

In 1974 Joan Hammond was created Dame of the British Empire.

She retired in 1965 and died in 1996 at the age of 84.

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