|Year of Birth:||1903|
|Year of Death:||1992|
Ina Souez (June 3, 1903 – December 7, 1992) was an American soprano and jazz singer who made her career in the United Kingdom.
Born Ina Rains in Windsor, Colorado, Souez was of Cherokee extraction; she took her maternal grandmother's name as her own when she embarked upon her career. She studied under Florence Hinman in Denver, and in 1931 traveled to Europe, taking further lessons with Sofia del Campo in Milan. She made her debut as Mimi in Ivrea in 1928, and was soon singing at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. In May 1929 she bowed as Liù at the Royal Opera House to the Turandot of Eva Turner. Although she was very well-received, she was not reengaged. For the following decade she remained in England, eventually attracting the attention of Hamish Wilson, who suggested her for a position at the Glyndebourne Festival.
Souez appeared at Glyndebourne for the first time on the second night of the inaugural festival, May 29, 1934, singing Fiordiligi; married at the time to an Englishman, she was billed as an English singer. Her performance was sensationally received, and the Royal Opera House quickly engaged her for the upcoming season; this created a problem for Glyndebourne, as they had taken it for granted that she would return and so had not bothered signing her up for the following festival year. In the event she was able to discharge both obligations, but was once again not reengaged in London. She also sang Donna Anna for Glyndebourne, in 1936, and appeared in Stockholm and The Hague as well before returning to the United States on the outbreak of World War II. During this time she also recorded Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte, the first commercial recordings either piece would receive. Souez joined the Women's Army Corps after her return. She appeared a few more times in New York, but retired from opera to become a jazz singer in 1945.