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Amy Shuard

Amy Shuard (1924-1975) was a leading English soprano during the 1960s, singing mainly at Covent Garden but also internationally in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, and Bayreuth. She made very few studio recordings, and therefore her career is best documented via live recordings. This page lists every live performance of Shuard known to exist. It is possible that more will turn up since the BBC broadcast many operas from Covent Garden during the 1950s and 1960s while at the same time enthusiasts began to record performances from the auditorium. Extant recordings fortunately preserve Shuard's artistry in some of her most famous roles, including Cassandra, Aida, Turandot, Lady Macbeth, Amelia, Brunnhilde, Isolde and Elektra (omissions include the title role of Jenufa which she premiered in Britain, Leonore in Fidelio, Giulietta in Les Contes D'Hoffmann, and the title role of Madama Butterfly,) and prove that she fully deserved to be described as the best English dramatic soprano since her teacher Dame Eva Turner. The sound quality of radio broadcasts is far better than that of in-house recordings, and some of her later broadcasts were in stereo.

June 3, 1954 Leoš Janáček– Kát'a Kabanová - Sadler’s Wells (BBC broadcast available for download from www.theclassicalshop.com)

April 9 1955 Aida - Ritornia Vincitor (in English) (BBC Broadcast "Variety Playhouse" Home Service)

June 17, 1955 Wagner - Gotterdammerung (3rd Norn) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (BBC broadcast)

June 20, 1957 Berlioz - The Trojans - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (BBC broadcast issued on CD by Testament)

October 4, 1957 Wagner Gotterdammerung (3rd Norn) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (BBC broadcast issued on CD by Testament)

July 17, 1958 Berlioz- The Trojans - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London (BBC broadcast)

August 9, 1958 Tchaikovsky - Romeo and Juliet duet with Richard Lewis Prom Concert, Albert Hall

October 2, 1958 Benjamin - Tale Of Two Cities - BBC Studio Television Broadcast

August 1, 1959 Tchaikovsky - Eugene Onegin - Titania's Letter Scene (in English) - Prom Concert Royal Albert Hall

September 24, 1959 Wagner - Die Walküre (Sieglinde) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London (BBC broadcast)

October 2, 1959 Wagner - Götterdämmerung (Gutrune) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (BBC broadcast)

April 8, 1960 Verdi - Macbeth - Royal Opera House Covent Garden (BBC broadcast issued on CD by Bella Voce)

May 10, 1960 Berlioz- The Trojans - Royal Opera House Covent Garden (BBC broadcast)

July 23, 1960 Puccini - Turandot (In questa reggia only) - Royal Albert Hall Prom Concert (BBC broadcast)

December 23, 1961 Wagner - Isolde's Liebestod (From "Variety Playhouse" BBC Home Service broadcast)

February 23, 1962 Verdi - Un Ballo In Maschera - Royal Opera House Covent Garden (In House) (issued on CD by the ROH)

June 19, 1962 Wagner - Die Walkure - Act 1 (BBC Radio studio broadcast)

August 21, 1962 Verdi - Macbeth - Teatro Colon Buenos Aires (stereo radio broadcast)

February 6, 9, or 13, 1963 Verdi - Aida - Royal Opera House Covent Garden (in house, Act 3 extract, 25 mins)

February 28, 1963 Puccini - Turandot - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (BBC broadcast)

August 7, 1963 Verdi - Requiem – Royal Albert Hall (issued on CD by BBC Legends)

February 24, 1964 Verdi - Macbeth - Royal Opera House Covent Garden (in house - 11min extract)

June 2, 1964 Verdi - Aida (in - house incomplete 82 mins) - Royal Opera on tour in Manchester

July 31, 1964 Verdi - Macbeth - Teatro Colon Buenos Aires (stereo radio broadcast)

February 19, 1965 Puccini - Turandot - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (BBC broadcast)

March 8, 1965 Strauss - Elektra - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (in house)

April 30, 1965 Puccini - Turandot - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (in house extracts Act 2, 23 mins, Act 3, 13 mins)

September 23, 1965 Wagner - Die Walküre (Brunnhilde) - Royal Opera House Covent Garden (BBC broadcast)

October 14, 1965 Wagner - Siegfried (Brunnhilde) - Royal Opera House Covent Garden (BBC broadcast)

October 16, 1965 Wagner - Gotterdammerung (Brunnhilde) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (BBC broadcast)

March 5, 1966 Wagner - Parsifal (Act 2 only) - Royal Opera House Covent Garden (in house)

April 1, 1966 Strauss - Elektra (In House - missing opening scene) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

May 14, 1966 Verdi - Un Ballo In Maschera (In House) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

May 25, 1966 Verdi - Un Ballo In Maschera (In House) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (10 mins extract from Act 1 Sc 2, and 9 mins from Act 2)

May 28, 1966 Puccini - Turandot (In House) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

August 1, 1966 Wagner - Parsifal (broadcast) - Royal Albert Hall, Acts 2 and 3 only

September 30, 1966 Strauss – Elektra - (In House - Incomplete) - San Francisco Opera

March 1967 Mascagni - Cavalleria Rusticana, (In House) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

June 16, 1967 Puccini - Turandot - Rome Opera (RAI radio broadcast)

October 21, 1967 Wagner - Siegfried - Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires (stereo radio broadcast Act 3 only)

November 8, 1967 Wagner - Gotterdammerung - Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires (stereo radio broadcast extracts - all of Brunnhilde's part)

April 25 or 28, 1968 Puccini - Turandot (In House - extracts) - Opéra De Marseille

July 27, 1968 Wagner - Parsifal - Bayreuth (Bavarian Radio stereo broadcast)

September 1, 1968 Berlioz - Trojans - Royal Albert Hall Prom (BBC stereo broadcast)

November 30, 1968 - Puccini – Turandot (In House) - San Francisco Opera

October 17, 1969 Wagner: Gotterdammerung - (In House - abridged recording) - San Francisco Opera

April 16, 1970 Wagner - Parsifal (with some extensive cuts) - La Fenice Venice (stereo recording, issued on CD by Mondo Musica)

July 21, 1970 Wagner - Tristan und Isolde Act 3 - Royal Albert Hall Prom Concert (BBC broadcast)

October 1, 1970 Wagner - Siegfried - Royal Opera House Covent Garden (BBC broadcast)

January 3, 1971 Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde - BBC Radio 3 Studio Broadcast - (originally recorded in 1969)

February 12, 1971 Puccini - Turandot - Royal Opera House Covent Garden (in house)

February 21, 1971 Sunday night at the London Coliseum, - BBC Radio 4 concert including finale of Gotterdammerung with Charles Craig

April 19, 1971 Richard Wagner Parsifal - Royal Opera House Covent Garden (house wire recording of the Dress Rehearsal)

May 8, 1971 Richard Wagner Parsifal - Royal Opera House Covent Garden (BBC broadcast in stereo - issued on CD by the ROH)

January 31, 1972 Wagner: Tristan Und Isolde - Grand Theatre De Geneve

May 2, 1972 Leoš Janáček Jenůfa (Kostelnicka) (in house) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

March 19, 1973 Wagner - Parsifal (In House) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London

October 9, 1973 Puccini - Turandot (in house) - Royal Opera House Covent Garden

May 28, 1974 Leoš Janáček Jenůfa (Kostelnicka) (Acts 2 and 3 in the British Library Sound Archive) (In House) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London

June 10, 1974 Leoš Janáček Jenůfa (Kostelnicka) (In House) - Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London (this was Shuard's last stage appearance)

c.1954 radio broadcast short extract from duet from Walton's Troilus and Cressida with Richard Lewis

c. 1962 TV soundtrack - O mio babbino caro & Quando me’no vo (most probably from an ITV variety programme)



Studio Recordings


March 7, 1951 Studio No. 1, Abbey Road, London Columbia DX 1748

Mascagni – Cavalleria Rusticana – You Here Santuzza with James Johnston, Philharmonia Orchestra c.Michael Mudie

May 29, 1961 Studio No. 1, Abbey Road, London H.M.V. Concert Classics XLP20042

Tchaikovsky – Eugene Onegin – Tatiana’s Letter Scene, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra c. George Weldon

January 25, 26, 29 & March 26, 1962 Kingsway Hall, London HMV Concert Classics (2) XLP20046

Verdi – Aida - Ritorna Vincitor

Verdi – Adia – Qui Radames Verra

Verdi – Un Ballo in Maschera – Morro ma prima in grazia

Mascagni – Cavalleria Rusticana – Voi lo sapete

Puccini – Turandot – In questa reggia

Puccini – Gianni Schicchi – O mio babbino caro

Puccini – Tosca – Vissi d’arte

Puccini – La Boheme – Quando me’no vo

Giordano – Andrea Chenier – La mamma morta

Royal Opera House Orchestra, c. Sir Edward Downes

February 1968 Kingsway Hall, London Decca 0 MET392-3

Strauss – Elektra – Monologue

Royal Opera House Orchestra, c. Sir Edward Downes