Born: February 15, 1928 - Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England
The English contralto, (Mary) Norma Procter, studied voice with Roy Henderson and Alec Redshaw.
Norma Procter was a leading British contralto in the years after World War II. She made her debut in Georg Frideric Handel’s Messiah at Southwark Cathedral in 1948. Soon she established herself as an outstanding concert singer. In 1961 she made her operatic debut at London’s Covent Garden as Gluck’s Orpheus. She was chosen by Benjamin Britten to sing the title role of hisThe Rape of Lucretia at the 1958 Aldeburgh Festival. Although she did sing opera, she was best known as a concert, oratorio, and recital singer. She had a rich, warm voice that was strong and reliable, lacking the pinched or squally sound that often is associated with oratorio singing. She worked with the leading conductors of her time, including Bruno Walter, Leonard Bernstein, Jascha Horenstein, Rafael Kubelík, Sir Malcolm Sargent, and Pierre Boulez. She performed at major British music festivals, various European festivals, and gave numerous concerts, recitals throughout Europe and frequent broadcasts in Britain, Holland and Germany.
Norma Procter sang in and recorded virtually every Gustav Mahler work with an alto part, including the first complete version of G. Mahler's Das Klagende Lied. Others of her many recordings include George Frideric Handel's Alcina with Joan Sutherland, several Bach cantatas, Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah, L.v. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, B. Britten's Spring Symphony, and G. Mahler's 3rd Symphony. She was honoured with RAM in 1974.
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