Florence Easton (25 October 1882 – 13 August 1955) was the first woman Royal Academy of Music Fellow in 1909.
She was a popular English dramatic soprano in the early 20th century. She was one of the most versatile singers of all time. She sang more than 100 parts, covering a wide range of styles and periods, from Mozart, Meyerbeer, Gounod, Verdi, Wagner, Puccini, Strauss, Schreker and Krenek. In Wagner she sang virtually every soprano part, large and small from Senta onwards, including the Götterdämmerung Brünnhilde. She described herself as "lyric dramatic soprano", which seems barely adequate in relation to the range of types of role in which she excelled. Her high international reputation, founded mainly in Germany and North America, was almost unique for a British singer of her time. She could move easily through all stages from the light coloratura to the Hochdramatische, from girlish romanticism to powerful Wagnerian and Straussian drama. The voice could be light and airy, gently melancholic or intensely passionate. The involvement in the character of the role was total. John Steane has suggested that "This great strength of hers was also, in a strange way, a source of weakness. She sang so many roles very well that she never quite became identified with any of these". Despite her often suspect Italian diction she was chosen by Puccini to create Lauretta in his 1917 opera Gianni Schicchi.
Florence retired from public performance in 1939; her last appearance with orchestra was in a 1942 broadcast where she sang excerpts from Tristan und Isolde using her own English translations. She then taught privately and at the Juilliard School of Music, and still gave occasional recitals in New York. Her final appearance was made at New York Town Hall, in a song recital in 1943. At the end of World War II she moved with her husband to Montreal, Quebec, Canada and they returned to New York in 1950. She was suffering from heart trouble and she died on 13 August 1955, in Montreal, aged 72.
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