Director: Richard Bonynge
- Joan Sutherland (Cleopatra)
- Monica Sinclair (Tolomeo)
- Marilyn Horne (Cornelia)
- Margreta Elkins (Giulio Cesare)
- Richard Conrad (Sesto)Archivos para descarga:
Margreta Elkins (930 – 2009) was an Australian mezzo-soprano of great renown.
She sang at Covent Garden and with Opera Australia and other companies, but turned down offers to sing at the Metropolitan Opera, Bayreuth and Glyndebourne.
She made a number of recordings, including singing alongside sopranos such as Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland.
Margaret Ann Enid Geater was born in Brisbane, Queensland. She began her vocal studies at a convent school before winning an Australian state scholarship in 1949.
That same year she married Henry Elkins and adopted Margreta Elkins as her stage name. Also that year she competed in the Mobil Quest against Joan Sutherland.
In 1950 she toured Queensland and appeared in Faust as Siébel; Il trovatore as Azucena; and Madama Butterfly as Suzuki. In 1952 she joined and toured with the National Opera Company of Australia, making her first appearances in Brisbane as Carmen in 1953 and as Azucena in 1954. She entered the Mobil Quest again in 1956, winning second prize.
Moving to Europe in 1956, she was based there for the next twenty years. She began her European career performing with the Dublin Grand Opera Company and the Carl Rosa Opera Company in such roles as the title role in Carmen and Dorabella in Così fan tutte. In 1958 she became a resident principal mezzo-soprano at the Royal Opera House, making her debut there as Amneris in Aida. She sang regularly at that house for the next ten years in such operas as Lucia di Lammermoor as Alisa; Der Rosenkavalier as Octavian; Die Walküre as Sieglinde; and Malcolm Williamson’s The Growing Castle as The Poet, among others. She also notably sang Hippolyta in the London premiere of Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1961), directed by Sir John Gielgud, and portrayed the role of Helen in the world premiere of Michael Tippett’s King Priam on 29 May 1962 in Coventry. Her other opera roles included Herodias in Salome, Maffio Orsini in Lucrezia Borgia, Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde, and Delilah in Samson and Delilah.
Elkins was a frequent collaborator with Joan Sutherland for performances in London, sharing the stage with her in Norma as Adalgisa; Alcina as Ruggiero; Rodelinda as Bertarido; and as Alisa to Sutherland’s Lucia. Elkins also sang the role of Alisa opposite Maria Callas’s Lucia for her 1959 recording of the opera with conductor Tullio Serafin. Callas had heard Elkins in rehearsal and chose her to sing Alisa for the EMI recording.
Elkins partnership with Sutherland also resulted in a number of studio recordings of complete operas led by Richard Bonynge for Decca Records. She also joined Sutherland and Bonynge’s 1965 tour of Australia with the Sutherland-Williamson Opera Company.
In November 1964, Margreta Elkins appeared alongside Noël Coward, Dame Margot Fonteyn and others in a 90th birthday tribute to Sir Winston Churchill.
It was around this time that she declined an offer to appear at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, as she did not like the part she was offered. She had earlier refused an offer to sing at Glyndebourne, for contractual reasons. However, Elkins did make appearances at the Teatro di San Carlo, the Teatro Carlo Felice, the Liceu, the Opera Company of Boston and the New Orleans Opera during the 1960s. She also sang two roles with the Philadelphia Lyric Opera Company, Siébel in 1965 and Adalgisa in 1968, both with Sutherland.
In 1970 Elkins had a daughter, Emma. After the birth of her daughter she decided to limit significantly her performances outside Australia and spent most her remaining career performing in her own country after the early 1970s. She toured Australia in recital for the ABC a number of times and became a principal member of the Australian Opera in 1976.
That same year she declined an offer to sing at the Bayreuth Festival for family reasons. But she remained a committed Wagnerian and considered her Sieglinde in Die Walküre for the AO as the highlight of her career.
She left AO to go freelance in 1980. She recorded Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in 1983, a recording which is often compared favourably with Dame Janet Baker’s.
On 11 June 1984, Margreta Elkins was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to opera.She was a Sessional Lecturer in Voice at the Queensland Conservatorium and taught at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts.
She was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Queensland in 1986.
In 1990 she appeared as Azucena in Il trovatore for Queensland Lyric Opera.
In 2002 she returned to the stage once more, as Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria rusticana for Opera Queensland where she was an honorary life member.