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Eiddwen Harrhy (Soprano)

Born: April 14, 1949 - Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England, UK

The Welsh soprano, Eiddwen Harrhy, studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music, where she won the Imperial League of Opera Gold Medal. She then studied in London, winning the Miriam Licette Prize, leading to further studies in Paris.

Eiddwen Harrhy sang in concert at Welsh Eisteddfods and with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; at Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1974 in Rinaldo; Alcina with the Handel Opera Society at Sadler's Wells. She made her Covent Garden debut in 1974 in The Ring cycle with Sir Colin Davis, directed by Götz Friedrich. She sang with the English National Opera from 1977, making her debut there as Adele in Le Comte Ory. In her first season she also sang Michaela in Carmen, Pamina in Magic Flute, and Countess in Figaro. She appeared at Kent Opera as Pamina and the title role in Iphigenie en Tauride; Glyndebourne Touring Opera as Donna Anna, and made her Glyndebourne debut in 1979 as Diana in La Fedelta Premiata. She sang Madama Butterfly at the London Coliseum in 1984 and Alban Berg's Marie in Wozzeck with Welsh National Opera in 1986. She sang Mercian in the premiere of David Blake's The Plumber's Gift with English National Opera in 1989, and Hecuba in a new production of King Priam for Opera North in 1991. Other notable roles include Dido in Les Troyens (concert performance conducted by Roger Norrington), Poppea, Donna Elvira, Fiordiligi, Katya, Butterfly, Composer, and Octavian. She has sung in over 20 George Frideric Handel operas.

Her concert appearances include Promenade Concerts London in 1989, in Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria and J.S. Bach's Magnificat (BWV 243), conducted by Richard Hickox.

Eiddwen Harrhy has since sung at many leading opera houses including Teatro Colon Buenos Aires, La Scala Milan, Glyndebourne, Berlin, Paris, Los Angeles, and appeared with many leading orchestras around the world. At home, she has sung with every major British orchestra, and with all the major opera companies. She has worked with many of the great conductors and directors, including amongst others Bernard Haitink, Georg Solti, Neville Marriner, Christopher Hogwood, Pritchard, David Willcocks, Colin Davis, John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Mariss Jansons, Charles Mackerras, Marc Minkowski and Roger Norrington. She has performed with the leading accompanists of her generation, including Geoffrey Parsons, Pascal Rogé, Graham Johnson, Roger Vignoles and Michael Pollock. She has appeared in Amsterdam, Athens, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Milan, Paris, Rome, St. Petersburg. Sydney and Vienna, taking part in major Festivals like Aldeburgh, Batignano, Edinburgh, Flanders, Geneva, Lucerne and Hong Kong.

Eiddwen Harrhy has made many notable appearances in the BBC Proms, and in other broadcast concerts. Among others, she has recorded for BBC, EMI, Deutche Grammophon, Harmonia Mundi, Erato, Virgin Classics, Opera Rara and Nimbus. Her recordings include: Isabelle in Rossini's L'Assedio di Corinto and "A Hundred Years of Italian Opera, 1810-20" (Opera Rara). She has given lessons and master-classes in Vienna, Prague, Vilnius, Utrecht, Buenos Aires and Stockholm.

Eiddwen Harrhy is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and Professor of Vocal Studies at the Royal College of Music.

Source: Royal College of Music Website; International Who's Who in Music & Musicians' Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (December 2008)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Richard Hickox


G.F. Handel: Opera Alcina, HWV 34 [1st recording, 1985, Morgana]

Links to other Sites

Eiddwen Harrhy - Vocal Studies (RCM)

Lithuanian Academy of Music: Inter-arts workshop

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