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Kathleen Ferrier (1912–1953) started singing professionally late; she was thirty when she did her first performance as a soloist (in Händel’s ‘Messiah’). She only performed in two operas, Britten’s ‘The Rape of Lucretia’ (1946) and Gluck’s ‘Orfeo ed Eudridice’ (1947). Her rising star as a highly characteristic alto was cut short when she died at only 41; from breast cancer. Luckily, she managed to do many recordings…

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