|Year of Birth:||1908|
|Year of Death:||1983|
Edith Coates OBE (31 May 1908 – 7 January 1983) was an English operatic mezzo-soprano. A highly gifted actress with a striking stage presence, Coates initially found success in larger dramatic roles before transitioning into portraying mainly character parts in the 1950s. She began her career with Lilian Baylis's opera company at the Old Vic in 1924. She stayed with the company when it moved to the Sadler's Wells Theatre and remained with them up to 1946. Coates career was put on hold while the London stages were closed during World War II. There is no doubt that the war limited her career as it occurred during her prime singing years; though she was also said not to have been excessively ambitious. In 1947 Coates joined the Royal Opera, London where she remained until her retirement from the stage in 1967.
Coates studied singing with Ethel Henry Bird at the Trinity College of Music in London and later with Clive Carey, Dawson Freer and Dino Borgioli. She began her career in 1924 with the Vic Wells Opera, first as a member of the chorus and then in smaller roles. When the company moved to the Sadler's Wells Theatre in 1931 she became the company's leading mezzo-soprano, notably singing in the UK premieres of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's The Snow Maiden (as Lel) and Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tale of Tsar Saltan (as Tkachikha) in 1933. She also had a tremendous success with the company as Princess Eboli in Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlos in 1937. On 7 June 1945 she portrayed Auntie in the world premiere of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes at the Sadler's Wells Theatre.