Aussie opera stars remember Elizabeth Connell

London memorial concert attracts a glittering line up of singers to celebrate the life of one of the greats.

It was with great sadness that the arts world learnt in February last year of the premature passing of Elizabeth Connell, one of the most respected and cared for singers of her generation, and an acclaimed performer of the great Strauss, Verdi and Wagner heroines.

Born in 1946, Connell made her debut at Wexford Opera Festival in 1972. She sang at the opening of the Sydney Opera House in Prokofiev's War and Peace in 1973 and had a special relationship with Opera Australia from that moment on. Connell, who was only 65 when she died, was prevented from appearing in Turandot for Opera Australia in 2012 after being diagnosed with lung cancer late in 2011.

This month her colleagues, friends and family are organizing a Memorial Concert that will take place at St John's Smith Square, London, on April 27th. 2013. The line-up of singers is impressive and includes veterans such as Yvonne Kenny, Sylvie Valayre, Thomas Moser and Dennis O'Neill while the younger generation will be represented by artists such as Michael Spyres, Stuart Skelton and Elisabeth Meister. All have chosen to honour her memory by performing works that evoke Connell's long and distinguished career.

Highlights will include Puccini’s In questa reggia sung by Elisabeth Meister, Mamma, quel vino è generoso from Cavalleria Rusticana sung by Dennis O’Neill and Beethoven’s Gott! Welch Dunkel hier! from Fidelio to be sung by Stuart Skelton. Yvonne Kenny will sing Gershwin’s By Strauss while Sally Silver will sing Massenet’s Ivre d'amour.

The concert will also publicise the annual Elizabeth Connell Prize for young dramatic sopranos and any proceeds will be shared with the Musicians' Benevolent Fund.

Tickets are available for any Limelight reader lucky enough to be in London but if not, there is a guestbook for messages on the Elizabeth Connell website.

The Elizabeth Connell Memorial Concert will take place at St John's Smith Square, London, April 27.

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Aussie opera stars remember Elizabeth Connell
Elizabeth Connell: A big voice and a big heart - sadly missed
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