|Year of Birth:||1930|
Josephine Veasey (born 10 July 1930) is a British mezzo-soprano, particularly associated with Wagner and Berliozroles.
Born in Peckham, she studied with Audrey Langford, and became a member of the Royal Opera House chorus in 1949. She made her debut as a soloist on 5 July 1955 as the Page in Salome, followed by Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, and later roles included Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Marina in Boris Godunov, Preziosilla in La forza del destino, Eboli in Don Carlos, Amneris in Aida, and sang the title role in Carmen, amongst others. Beginning in 1957, she became a regular guest at the Glyndebourne Festival, notably as Charlotte in Werther and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier.
Noticed and encouraged by Georg Solti, she began adding Wagner roles to her repertoire, notably Waltraute and Fricka in Die Walküre, the second of which she recorded for DG under Herbert von Karajan). Other major roles included Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde, Venus in Tannhäuser (opera), and Kundry in Parsifal. Under Colin Davis' guidance, she also became an illustrious interpreter of Berlioz's works, singing both Didon and Cassandre in Les Troyens, and Marguerite in La damnation de Faust, which she also recorded for him.
On the international scene, she appeared at the Paris Opéra, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, at La Scala in Milan, the Vienna State Opera, the Salzburg Festival, the Metropolitan Opera, and the San Francisco Opera. In 1962, she created the role of Andromache in Michael Tippett's King Priam, and in 1976 created The Emperor in Hans Werner Henze's We Come to the River.