|Year of Birth:||1917|
|Year of Death:||2005|
Frances Greer (12 January 1917 – 28 June 2005) was an American soprano. A leading performer at the Metropolitan Opera and the Philadelphia Opera Company, she recorded 13 albums, mostly musical operettas with RCA Victor, and made several concert appearances at Carnegie Hall. For many years she was the featured singer on CBS’s Friday evening radio program, Musicland USA.
Greer was born in Piggott, Arkansas, the eldest of seven children to Charles F. Greer and Narene Greer (née Spence). Later the family moved to Helena, Arkansas where Frances attended West Helena High School. Her father was a music teacher and it was from him that she received her first voice lessons. Although she won several state vocal competitions while in high school, Greer never received a response after submitting her grades and a letter to the University of Arkansas. She hoped to study at the school, and the lack of a response hurt her feelings. However, she did win three different scholarships to Louisiana State University. At LSU she studied voice and was highly active in student opera productions that were at that time directed by baritone Pasquale Amato. While a student, Greer won a major singing contest which led to an engagement to perform as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra under conductor Eugene Ormandy.
After graduating from LSU, Greer joined the roster of principal artists at the Philadelphia Opera Company (POC), making her debut with the company on January 19, 1939 as Musetta in Giacomo Puccini's La bohème. She remained with the company through 1941, portraying such roles as Adele in Die Fledermaus, Cio-cio-san in Madama Butterfly, Concepcion in L’heure espagnole, Frasquita in Carmen, Giorgetta in Il tabarro, Mařenka in The Bartered Bride, Marguerite in Faust, Méliande in Pelléas et Mélisande, and Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro. She notably appeared in the first staged production of Gian Carlo Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief in the role of Laetitia with the POC at the Academy of Music on February 11, 1941. Among the conductors she sang under while in Philadelphia were Sir Thomas Beecham, Bruno Walter, and Sylvan Levin.