Felicity Lott is a British soprano who has performed all of the great roles of the lyric repertoire. She is a Francophile and lends French operettas a uniquely British humour.
Felicity Lott was born into a family of amateur musicians and began learning the piano and violin at an early age before deciding on singing. She had a great love of the French language and studied for a degree in French and Latin at the University of London. She considered becoming an interpreter. She came to France to work as a high school English Assistant to complete her degree. While there she enrolled at the Conservatory of Grenoble. Her singing teacher encouraged her to persevere, and when she returned to London in 1969, she went to the Royal Academy of Music for four years, earning the Principal's Prize.
She made her debut at the English National Opera in 1975 taking on the role of Pamina in Mozart's The Magic Flute. The following year, she was part of Hans Werner Henze's We Come to the River, at Covent Garden. She then undertook a long series of performances of Richard Strauss's opera Capriccio at Glyndebourne and toured as Comtesse Madeleine. In 1977, Felicity Lott played Anne Trulove in Igor Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. Opera houses all over the world soon called upon her talent: she sang in Vienna, Milan, Paris, Brussels, Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, New York and Chicago. She mainly sang works by Strauss, Mozart, Britten and Poulenc, under the baton of the most renowned conductors, such as Bernard Haitink, Carlos Kleiber, Antonio Pappano and Sir Simon Rattle.
In the 1990s and 2000s, she convincingly defended the oft-overlooked genre of the operetta by performing in productions of The Merry Widow (Lehár), The Bat (Johann Strauss), La Belle Hélène and La Grande Duchesse Gerolstein (Offenbach), as part of a collaboration with conductor Marc Minkowski.
Felicity Lott studied with the great accompanist Graham Johnson, at the Royal Academy of Music, he later became her recital partner. They performed the German lieders of Strauss, Schubert, Brahms and Wolf alongside the French and English melodies of Chabrier, Chausson, Fauré, Reynaldo Hahn, Britten and Walton.
Six Landmark Dates in the Life of Felicity Lott
1990 : Became an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
1996 : Was made a Dame (OBE)
2001 : Became a Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur
2003 : Was given the title of Bayerische Kammersängerin
2010 : Was awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal
2010 : Received an Honorary Doctorate from the Sorbonne