Obituary: Mezzo-Soprano Michelle Walton Passes Away

By Francisco Salazar

Mezzo-soprano Michelle Walton has died.

The Scottish Opera took to social media to announce the death of the singer stating, “We at Scottish Opera are deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic death of mezzo-soprano Michelle Walton on August 23. Michelle was a Company Principal with Scottish Opera in the late 1990s and is seen here as Dorabella in ‘Così fan tutte’ alongside Peter Mattei as Guglielmo. Michelle also appeared for Scottish Opera in productions of ‘The Barber of Seville,’ ‘La Traviata,’ ‘The Queen of Spades,’ ‘The Magic Flute,’ ‘Carmen,’ ‘Parsifal,’ and ‘The Marriage of Figaro.’

The company concluded by stating, “Our thoughts are with Michelle’s family and friends.’

Walton studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and at the National Opera Studio winning the prestigious Maggie Teyte Prize. She went on to make stage debut as Fiorilla in Rossini’s “Il Turco in Italia” at the Buxton Festival and followed it with her debut at the English National Opera as the Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro,”

With ENO she would sing the title role in John Copley’s production of Lehar’s “The Merry Widow,” Mimi in Jonathan Miller’s production of “La Bohème” and covered the title role of “Madam Butterfly” in Anthony Minghella’s production.

The singer would also establish a career with Opera North, the Welsh National Opera, Garsington Opera, and the Edinburgh International Festival in soprano roles. Among those were Liu in Puccini’s “Turandot,” Mimi, Giulietta in Verdi’s “Un giorno di regno,” Zerlina in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” and Ascanius in Berlioz’s “Les Troyens.”

As a mezzo-soprano she was a company principal at Scottish Opera and also worked for Glyndebourne, Buxton Festival, Garsington Opera, Opera Holland Park, English Touring Opera, Raymond Gubbay, Lille, and Opéra Comique Paris. Some of her most memorable mezzo roles included Rosina, Cherubino, Dorabella, Annio and Hermia.