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Lesley Garrett

Soprano

Biography

Lesley Garrett in action.
Lesley Garrett as Val in Pleasure © Opera North 2016. Photo by Robert Workman

English soprano and presenter Lesley Garrett made her Royal Opera debut in 1997 as Valencienne (The Merry Widow) and has since returned to sing Val (Pleasure).

Garrett trained at the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio, and won the 1979 Kathleen Ferrier Competition. She began her career performing for companies including Welsh National Opera, Opera North and the Glyndebourne, Wexford and Buxton festivals. She was a principal soprano of English National Opera 1984–98, where her many roles included Musetta (La bohème), Rosina (The Barber of Seville), Yum Yum (The Mikado) and the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen. Engagements since have included Elle (La Voix humaine) for Opera North and Despina (Così fan tutte) for Garsington Opera. She has performed in concert with orchestras including the Hallè, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and in numerous gala performances, including the Millennium Eve, the Classical Brit Awards, the 2000 FA Cup Final and the Last Night of the Proms. Further engagements have included Mother Abbess (The Sound of Music) and Nettie (Carousel) on the West End.

Garrett’s many bestselling solo albums include Soprano in Red, A Soprano Inspired and A North Country Lass. She has presented the television shows ‘Lesley Garrett… Tonight’, ‘The Lesley Garrett Show’, ‘The Singer’, ‘Sacred Songs’ and ‘Christmas Voices’, among others, and a weekly show for Classic FM. She published her autobiography Notes from a Small Soprano in 2000. She is a Fellow and Governor of the RAM, and was made a CBE in 2002.

News and features

What are your first memories of opera?

28 July 2016
What are your first memories of opera?

Share your memories of the art form from The Royal Opera and beyond.

Watch: Lesley Garrett on her role in Pleasure – 'Opera is not a museum art form’

12 May 2016
Watch: Lesley Garrett on her role in <em>Pleasure</em> – 'Opera is not a museum art form’

The singer returns to opera with Mark Simpson’s new thriller, set in a gay bar.

ENO celebrates the life of Lord Harewood

20 June 2014
ENO celebrates the life of Lord Harewood

English National Opera hosts a special gala performance in celebration of the life of a crucial figure in British opera.

Photos