The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Search the Collection

Phyllis Lett

(1883-1962), Contralto singer

Sitter in 1 portrait

Tell us More

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Make a donation Close

List Thumbnail

Phyllis Lett, by Ernest Walter Histed, published by  Breitkopf & Hartel - NPG x197798

Phyllis Lett

by Ernest Walter Histed, published by Breitkopf & Hartel
bromide postcard print, 1900s
NPG x197798

Category

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

Elaine Merckx and Neal Rigby

11 March 2019, 09:57

Phyllis Lett (1883-1962) was born in Lincolnshire, but educated at Wakefield Girls’ High School (1894-1900). After studying at the Royal College of Music and in Paris she achieved distinction as a professional contralto singer and recording artist, particularly in the period 1906 - 1925. Phyllis worked with the most distinguished musicians of the day, including Sir Edward Elgar and Sir Henry Wood, and was a major performer at the Proms in 1913, 1914 and 1915. During the Great War she supported the national effort in over 1,000 concerts at home, in France and in Belgium. Radio and the gramophone were increasingly important and Phyllis embraced both. She married Charles Rupert de Burgh Ker in 1924 and the newly married couple moved to Australia in 1925. She died at Yea, Victoria, Australia in 1962.

John France

04 September 2015, 08:01

Phyllis Burgh Ker née Lett was born in Wakefield during 1884. As a mezzo-soprano, Lett was a popular recitalist during the nineteen twenties. The Times reports that she ‘had a pleasing voice of even quality, intelligence and interpretation and persuasive delivery'. The RCM Magazine notes that she 'was possessed with a magnificent contralto voice [and] was perhaps one of the most famous oratorio singers of her day, and was in great demand at the chief festivals…’ Lett died in Yea, Victoria in Australia on 1st June 1962.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.

Citationclose

How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.