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Norma Procter (Contralto)

Born: February 15, 1928 - Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England
Died: May 2, 2017 - Grimsby, 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 Handelís Messiah at Southwark Cathedral in 1948. Soon she established herself as an outstanding concert singer. In 1961 she made her operatic debut at Londonís Covent Garden as Gluckís Orpheus. She was chosen by Benjamin Britten to sing the title role of his The 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 J.S. Bach cantatas, Felix Mendelssohn's Elijah, L.v. Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, B. Britten's Spring Symphony, and G. Mahler's Symphony No. 3. She was honoured with RAM in 1974.

Source: Bakerís Biographical Dictionary of 20th Century Classical Musicians (1997); All Music Guide (Author: Joseph Stevenson); International Who's Who in Music & Musicians' Directory (13th Edition, 1992/93)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2001, December 2008); Manfred Krugmann (Photos 02-03, July 2011; Dates & Photos 04-06)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Arnold Goldsbrough


BWV 105, BWV 154

Ferdinand Leitner


G.F. Handel: Opera Alcina, HWV 34 [Bradamante]

Helmuth Rilling


BWV 45, BWV 176

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Last update: Monday, May 29, 2017 17:31