Elizabeth Harwood

27.05.1938 - 21.06.1990


Elizabeth Harwood (27 May 1938 - 21 June 1990) was an English lyric soprano.

Born in Barton Seagrave, a suburb of Kettering, she grew up in Yorkshire, and studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music from 1956 and made her operatic debut as Micaela in Carmen in 1960.

She won the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship and spent a year in Milan studying with Lina Pagliughi. When she returned to England, Sadler's Wells engaged her and she played Gilda in Rigoletto, Countess Adele in Le Comte Ory, and Phyllis in Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe. She made recordings with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1964 as Elsie in The Yeomen of the Guard and in the title role in Princess Ida.

After a tour of Australia with Joan Sutherland she returned to Europe where her roles included Galatea in Acis and Galatea (English Opera Group), Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Aix-en-Provence Festival), Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte (Scottish Opera - with Janet Baker as Dorabella) and Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier (Scottish Opera). For Covent Garden her roles included Arabella in Arabella, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Bella in The Midsummer Marriage, the title role in Manon and Teresa in Benvenuto Cellini.

Herbert von Karajan engaged her for Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Così fan Tutte and Le Nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival, and they recorded The Merry Widow for Deutsche Grammophon with Harwood in the title role, and La bohème for Decca, with Harwood as Musetta.


She died at Ingatestone, Essex, England in 1990, aged 52, from cancer.

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