|Year of Birth:||1957|
Vivian Tierney (born London, 26 November 1957) is an English operatic soprano, who has sung across a wide range of repertoire in the United Kingdom and Europe, and made several recordings.
Tierney was born in Highgate, London, but grew up in Manchester and attended the Manchester Grammar School for Girls. Although no other members of her family were musical, she had decided she wanted to be an opera singer after watching a performance of La bohème from Covent Garden on television. She attended Saturday morning lessons at Oldham Rep from the age of six, which involved learning how to speak prose and verse, and became a member of local choirs. From an early age she appreciated music, but was most interested in "the more emotional stuff ... verismo and 20th-century music". From the age of 14 Tierney took singing lessons with Rita Crosby.
While still at school, her singing teacher pushed her to audition for the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, where at the age of 17 she was successful in getting into the chorus. She also understudied and occasionally played the small Gilbert and Sullivan roles of Lady Ella in Patience and Giulia in The Gondoliers. This gave her much practical experience, and led to principal roles in the company, from 1977 to 1979, including the title role in Princess Ida (her professional debut), Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore, and Elsie Maynard in The Yeomen of the Guard. She returned to the company in 1981–82, adding another major role, Yum-Yum in The Mikado. While there, she met and married another D'Oyly Carte artiste, Gareth Jones (c. 1948–2010). She was spotted by Tom Hawkes who engaged her for roles at Sadler's Wells in The Count of Luxembourg and The Gypsy Princess. This in turn led to being asked to sing Edwige in Kent Opera's Robinson Crusoe.