Wales International Academy of Voice graduate celebrates the life of composer Ethel Smyth


Mezzo-Soprano Caroline Carragher is performing in a concert in Bridgend that will celebrate the life and work of composer and prominent suffragette Dame Ethel Smyth.

Headshot of Caroline

She will be singing the alto solos in Smyth’s ‘Mass in D’ as part of Tabernacl Music Society’s annual Summer Concert on Sunday 15th July at Capel y Tabernacl, Derwen Road, Bridgend at 7.00pm.

Caroline said: “I'll be performing as alto soloist with Bridgend Tabernacl Choir in Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D, a first outing of this work for me. It's a glorious setting for chorus, SATB soloists and orchestra, and I'm delighted to be singing it in 2018, the centenary of women first winning the right to vote.  I'm also glad to be involved in celebrating Ethel Smyth's work, which was sadly and unjustly neglected in her own lifetime.”

Dame Ethel Smyth (1858–1944) was a composer, counting six operas as well as orchestral, chamber, and a variety of vocal pieces amongst her works. She was also a prolific writer, authoring ten volumes of auto/biographical and polemical writing. For two years, she was a leading suffragette and her work ‘March of the Women’ is widely regarded as the anthem of the Suffragette movement.

Caroline said: “Although the vote was initially only granted to women over 30 who owned property, it was a landmark ruling following tireless protest by the Suffragettes (for whom Smyth was a vocal campaigner), the Suffragists and others. Their work continued to pave the way for further amendment, giving all women the same voting rights as men and enabling them to vote for their own future some ten years later.”

Caroline received a distinction in her MA Advanced Vocal Studies from UWTSD’s Wales International Academy of Voice in 2014. Since graduating, she has performed as soloist for a variety of opera companies, including Ormond Opera, Park Opera, Kennet Opera and Opera South, and has joined the ensemble at Opera Holland Park for the last three seasons. She is currently working on Isabeau with OHP, having just finished La traviata and Cosi fan tutte, and will create the role of Wona  in the premiere of The Prometheus Revolution with Fulham Opera, as part of the Grimeborn Festival later this season.

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