Dame Eva Turner (10 March 1892 – 16 June 1990) was an English dramatic soprano with an international reputation. Her strong, steady and well-trained voice was renowned for its clarion power in Italian and German operatic roles.
She began her career as a chorister with the Carl Rosa Opera Company and steadily took on larger roles such as Kate Pinkerton and the lead role of Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly, Micaela in Carmen, Musetta in Puccini’s La bohème, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, Freia in Das Rheingold, Elsa in Lohengrin, Brünnhilde in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Leonora in La forza del destino, Leonora in Fidelio, Eva in Die Meistersinger, and the title roles in Aida, Tosca (in one performance of which the famous incident with a trampoline occurred) and Thaïs.
In 1924, after an audition for the La Scala company in Milan, she was engaged by its principal conductor Arturo Toscanini as Freia and Sieglinde for the La Scala Ring Cycle of 1924–25.
She also played the title role in Turandot. She was in the audience for the April 1926 premiere at La Scala and first sang it in December that year at the Teatro Grande in Brescia. In 1928, she performed it at the Covent Garden (also playing Aida and Santuzza during the season), and in 1929, she took the part at La Scala.
She retired from the stage in 1948. And the following year, she was offered the position of visiting the Professor of Voice at the University of Oklahoma, and a one-year contract was extended for nine years. She returned to London in 1959 where she was appointed Professor of Singing at the Royal Academy of Music, a position she held until aged well into her 80s.