Obituary: Soprano & Mezzo-Soprano Kathryn Harries Dies at 72

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Royal Opera House)

Soprano and Mezzo-soprano Kathryn Harries has died at the age of 72.

The English singer was born at Hampton Court on Feb. 15, 1951 and went on to study with Constance Shacklock at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

She made her concert debut at London’s Royal Festival Hall in 1977 and her operatic debut followed in 1982 as Leonore with the Welsh National Opera. She would return to the company in 1984 for Sieglinde in “Die Walküre” and as Gutrune in “Götterdämmerung” in 1985.

In 1983, she made her debut at the English National Opera as Irene in “Rienzi” and would perform multiple roles with the company including Eva, Kât’a Kabanovâ, and Donna Anna.

Harries made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1986 as Kundry and went on to perform 16 times with the company. She would also sing in productions of “Götterdämmerung” alongside Hildegard Behrens and “Capriccio” alongside Kiri Te Kanawa. Her final performance with the company was in 1998.

Harries also performed at the Scottish Opera where created the title role in Edward Harper’s “Hedda Gabler” and also sang at the Royal Opera House in the British premiere of Berio’s “Un re in ascolto.”

Following her career on stage, Harries was appointed Director of the National Opera Studio. She raised money for a number of organizations across the sector, devising the ‘Opera Walk’ to support staff at WNO and ENO, and devoted a huge amount of time to teaching.