Kathleen Ferrier(1912-1953), Contralto singer
Sitter in 16 portraits
The contralto Kathleen Ferrier was one of the most renowned and popular singers of her generation. Her career was tragically short with little more than a decade separating her discovery, while working as a Post Office telephonist, to her death aged forty-one at the height of her fame. Her distinctive voice was characterised by a natural sound achieved with little formal training. Among her most celebrated performances were roles in Glück's Orfeo ed Euridice, Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius and Benjamin Britten's opera The Rape of Lucretia (1946), the title role of which was written for her.