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Alfreda Hodgson

Alfreda Hodgson

Born: 7th June 1940, Morecambe, Lancashire, England

Died: 16th April 1992, Morecambe, Lancashire, England

Nationality: British

Alfreda Hodgson was born in Morecambe on 7th June 1940 and trained at the Northern School of Music (now the Royal Northern College of Music) in Manchester, making her concert debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in the early 1960s. Like another great English contralto, Kathleen Ferrier, Hodgson focused on concert work (particularly Bach, Mahler, Elgar and Beethoven) rather than opera: she was 44 years old (and well established as a concert-artist) when she made her operatic debut as Ulrica in Verdi’s A Masked Ball for English National Opera, but also had success in several English-language roles including Auntie in Britten’s Peter Grimes and the clairvoyant Madam Sosostris in Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage.

Hodgson’s discography includes an English-language version of Bach’s St John Passion under Benjamin Britten with the English Chamber Orchestra, Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music under Sir Adrian Boult, Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody under Bernard Haitink, and Mahler’s Das klagende Lied with the young Simon Rattle in 1985. Hodgson died in Morecambe in 1992.

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