Amy Shuard CBE was an English dramatic soprano who achieved great acclaim in the roles of Elektra, Turandot and Brünnhilde.
Following studies at the Trinity College of Music she took lessons under the great Eva Turner and made her debut in South Africa in 1949 playing Aida and then Guilletta in The Tales of Hoffman. She also sang and Tannhauser.
Returning to Britain she sang at Sadler’s Wells before undergoing further studies in Italy. She returned to Britain again and remained based there, singing regularly at Covent Garden till her passing at the early age of 50.
Her roles included both title roles in Janáček’s Káťa Kabanová and Jenůfa (she played both leading roles in their British premieres). She also sang a wonderful Turandot in London with Franco Corelli following his enormous success in the role of Calaf the year previous in Italy with Birgit Nilsson.
She sang Carmen, Tosca, Turandot, Elektra, Madama Butterfly and Aida as well as Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana), Eboli (Don Carlos), Tatyana (Eugene Onegin), Magda Sorel (The Consul), Lady Macbeth (in the very first production of Verdi’s Macbeth at Covent Garden), and the Kostelnička in Jenůfa.
Noteably she recieved wide acclaim singing the heavier roles of Brünnhilde in Die Walküre, Elektra and Turandot.
She also sang Turandot, and Brünnhilde in Götterdämmerung, Isolde, Sieglinde and Kundry.
Amy Schuard also sang at Bayreuth, La Scala, Vienna, Buenos Aires and San Francisco and she was the first soprano ever to sing Brünnhilde at the Royal Opera Covent Garden.
Described as “the best English dramatic soprano since Eva Turner” (her teacher) Amy Shuard was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
She died in 1975, at the early age of 50.
Amy Shuard made very few recordings but there are many recordings that were taken of her in live performance. They are testament to an exceptional voice.
Courtesy: Opera Arts