Dame Felicity Lott

Felicity won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 International Classical Music Awards.

© Christina Raphaelle


Dame Felicity Lott is one of Britain’s best-loved sopranos. In opera, her portrayals of the Strauss and Mozart roles in particular have led to critical and popular acclaim worldwide. Her concert engagements have taken her to the major orchestras, working with Rattle, Haitink, Mehta, Previn, Masur, Welser-Möst, Sawallisch and Sir Andrew Davis. Much of her concert and recital repertoire is recorded, as are many of her great operatic roles: from her wonderful Marschallin under Carlos Kleiber to her Belle Helene, with which she enchanted the Parisians when she sang the role for the first time at the Chatelet in Paris in 2000.  A founder member of The Songmakers’ Almanac, Felicity has appeared on the major recital platforms of the world and in June 2005 she celebrated the 30th anniversary of her recital debut at the Wigmore Hall, with whom she has a particularly close association and received the Wigmore Hall Medal in 2010 for her exceptional contribution to the hall.


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    Elgar in Sussex

    Label: Champs Hill Records

    Release Date: 01 Jan 11

    This recording contains Elgar’s beautiful Piano Quintet in A minor, Three Movements for Piano Trio and seven songs performed by Felicity Lott and Joseph Middleton, piano.

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    Call Me Flott

    Label: Champs Hill Records

    Release Date: 01 Dec 09

    A charming collection of light-hearted songs- all in English but not all written by Englishmen!

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    Poulenc - The Complete Songs Vol. 2

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 30 May 11

    On the second release of Signum’s Poulenc series Felicity Lott presents the song cycle Tel jour telle nuit, Trois poèmes de Louise Lalanne and Les chemins de l’amour.

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    Poulenc - The Complete Songs Vol. 1

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 28 Feb 11

    This release marks the first in a new series charting the complete songs of Francis Poulenc, performed by various singers accompanied Malcolm Martineau. Felicity presents the song cycle La Courte Paille.

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    Champagne Operetta Arias

    Label: Virgin Classics

    Release Date: 17 Jan 05

    Dame Felicity Lott, soprano
    Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
    Armin Jordan, conductor

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    OFFENBACH: La Grande-Duchesse De Gerolstein

    Label: Virgin Classics

    Release Date: 01 Oct 04

    Dame Felicity Lott – La Grande Duchesse
    Yann Beuron – Fritz
    Sandrine Piau – Wanda
    Francois Le Roux – Le Général Boum

    Les Musiciens du Louvre – Grenoble
    Choeur des Musiciens du Louvre
    Marc Minkowski, conductor

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    Richard Strauss: Songs

    Label: Champs Hill Records

    Release Date: 01 Dec 03

    Dame Felicity Lott, soprano
    Graham Johnson, piano

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    Chausson - Ravel - Duparc

    Label: Aeon

    Release Date: 01 Oct 02

    “Lott floats and soars like a dream of heaven in a compilation of French songs from Chausson, Ravel and Duparc. The world of the French chanson is a sensuous, lilac-scented one, full of pale-cheeked eroticism and vague longing and yet also somehow cool and detached at the same time. It’s a hard mix of songs to pull off, but Lott does it splendidly in this gorgeous disc of orchestral songs and her diction is as clear as a bell.”
    Classic FM Album Review

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    Fallen Women and Virtuous Wives

    Label: Wigmore Hall Live

    Release Date: 06 Jun 05

    Dame Felicity Lott, soprano
    Graham Johnson, piano

    Dame Felicity Lott and Graham Johnson’s concert at Wigmore Hall on 6 June 2005 marked the 30th anniversary of their close relationship with the Hall.

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    La voix humaine DVD

    Label: Champs Hill Records

    Release Date: 02 Apr 13

    Dame Felicity Lott, soprano
    Graham Johnson, piano

    Poulenc La voix humaine

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    Label: Deutsche Grammophon

    Release Date: 21 Jul 14

    Dame Felicity Lott is interviewed by Jon Tolansky on the Blu-ray Audio CD of these recordings discussing her work with Carlos Kleiber.

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    06 Jul 16 Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts
    Government House Ballroom Perth

    “Two legends of the art song shine in a rare Australian appearance.
    Throughout, Dame Felicity’s focus on clarity of diction, expressive phrasing and timbral and dynamic shading was both absolute and utterly convincing… Dame Felicity and Johnson have been collaborating right from the very beginnings of their respective careers, and were founder members of the Songmaker’s Almanac, which has done so much over the years to promote art song as one of the greatest and most exquisite of all musical genres. That they exhibit an almost telepathic rapport is to be expected. But artistry such as theirs should never be taken for granted. We may never see their like again.”
    4****  Will Yeoman, Limelight Magazine, July 2016  

    “A Lott of experience to treasure
    An opening bracket of Schumann lieder provided reassurance that Dame Felicity’s powers of interpretation are as convincingly probing now as in decades past… so convincing was Dame Felicity’s evocation of even the subtlest moods — and style — of each song.”
    Neville Cohn, The West Australian, 11 July 2016 

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    24 Jan 16 City of London Sinfonia
    The Globe

    The ever-charming Dame Felicity Lott captivated the crowd with her light patter, sharing anecdotes and interpretations. The audience’s favourites were the coquettish songs by Lehar and Strauss, which received much laughter and an encore.
    Sabina Dewfield, The Cusp Magazine, 4 February 2016  

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    16 Dec 13 Tutti Magazine
    Interview - December 2013

    Please click here to read Dame Felicity Lott’s interview with Philippe Banel of Tutti Magazine
    Philippe Banel, Tutti Magazine, 14 December 2013

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    19 Nov 13 Poulenc La voix humaine
    Ehrbar Saal, Vienna

    “Im Ehrbar-Saal gab ein britischer Weltstar, Sopranistin Felicity Lott, in Begleitung des Pianisten Graham Johnson, Francis Poulencs solistisch angelegtes Musiktheater La Voix humaine… Lott beherrscht das zarte Flehen wie die Verzweiflung einer Sterbenden. Ihr Ausdruck und ihre Präsenz hoben den Abend in Bereiche des Besonderen.”
    Ljubiša Tošić, Der Standard, 25 November 2013 

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    17 May 13 Poulenc La voix humaine DVD
    Champs Hill Records

    BBC Music DVD Choice
    “It is highly significant that Poulenc’s family have finally lifted the embargo on this version of La voix humaine specifically for Felicity Lott and Graham Johnson.  Certainly it is hard to think of two finer champions of Poulenc’s music, and this set finally gives us a chance to see Lott’s devastating interpretation.  It is an emotionally intense 40 minutes for the soprano, and, as here, performing it leaves Lott in tears.”
    5***** Christopher Dingle, BBC Music Magazine, June 2013

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    24 Apr 13 Bromsgrove Festival A Celebration of English Song
    The New Guesten Hall

    “What better way to celebrate St. George’s Day than in the company of the magnificent Dame Felicity Lott and some of our greatest poets and composers?
    A recital such as this is as much an engrossing evening of poetry as it is a vocal performance and the glory of these songs is in the literate and subtle way words and music are mixed, so full marks for including all the words in the programme.
    …Dame Felicity’s magnetism embraced us all instantly, creating an immediate rapport…
    My own favourites from more than 20 songs included a radiant and hushed performance of Warlock’s My own country, followed by his setting of Sleep, where Wybrew’s piano produced some mesmerising sounds…
    The sense of engagement Lott always creates even convinced us that we had understood Auden’s convoluted lyrics in Britten’s As it is, plenty, before beguiling us with a superb rendition of Noël Coward’s wicked A bar on the Piccola Marina: an operatic scena in all but name, with the heroine letting her hair down in irresistibly comic fashion.”
    John Gough, The Birmingham Post, 3 May 2013 

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    28 Nov 12 William Lyne Birthday Gala
    Wigmore Hall, London

    “Lott was at her very loveliest in French, circling around the artful self-pity of Hahn’s Verlaine setting D’une prison, or preening her feathers in Messager’s fanciful L’air du Rossignol.”
    Neil Fisher, The Times, 30 November 2012

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    24 Nov 12 Strauss Ipswich Orchestral Society
    Ispwich Corn Exchange

    “Dame Felicity Lott has been singing the operas and songs of Richard Strauss to universal acclaim for more than 30 years and, wonderful as the Four Last Songs are, it was good to hear something different – and what a treat it proved to be. The six songs included some of his best known (Morgen) and some of his most inventive –Three Holy Kings contains some extraordinary and ravishing music. From the very first notes the quality of the truly great artist was on display – that of instant and authoritative communication. Her voice was perfectly in keeping with the music, rich, resonant but also brightly incisive. Adam Gatehouse and the orchestra accompanied her with great sensitivity and the stirring woods of Waldselgeit were wonderfully portrayed. Felicity Lott’s charm and sincerity shone through and it was indeed a privilege to hear her.”
    Gareth Jones, East Anglian Daily Times, 26 November 2012

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    09 Oct 11 Song recital
    Leeds Lieder Festival

    “We British have not developed an art-song tradition of our own and do not celebrate the traditions of others in this field – except at the LeedsLieder+ Festival which this year was a triumph.
    The final recital, given by Dame Felicity Lott accompanied by Malcolm Martineau, was an unsurpassable sampling of songs in the French ‘Mélodie’ tradition.
    Beginning with Duparc’s elegantly lyrical but passionate L’invitation au voyage, Lott moved on to settings by Fauré and Debussy of Verlaine and Baudelaire poems that encompassed so much human experience in a handful of bars, in which her expression and technique were masterly.
    The Festival had commissioned new songs from composer Gabriel Jackson, known for his choral works in the British tradition.
    In the hands of Lott and Martineau, they proved to have a vocal line worthy of Duparc and a harmonically clear and luminous piano part with touches of smiling irony.
    The finale was a dessert of witty “French froth” – as the Festival brochure put it – including songs by Saint-Saëns, Hahn, Poulenc and Messager.
    They were all delivered by Lott with panache and even, to the surprise of some, a dash of burlesque. In this ambience even her Noel Coward encore, A Talent to Amuse, sounded French!”
    Chris Robins, The Yorkshire Post, 14 October 2011

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    01 May 11 Poulenc Recording
    Signum Records

    Here La courte paille is sung by Felicity Lott with a fine sense of style and real understanding… these are songs that benefit greatly from the kind of musical intelligence Lott has in abundance, and this late cycle makes a fine conclusion to the disc.
    International Record Review, May 2011

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    27 Jan 11 Operetta gala Hamburger Symphoniker
    Laeiszhalle Hamburg

    “Nach der ersten Zugabe von Dame Felicity Lott, einer hinreißenden Version von “My Funny Valentine” für Sopran und Streichquartett, setzte sich Jeffrey Tate an den Flügel, drückte eine ziemlich jazzige Begleitung in die Tasten und sang mit heller, klarer Stimme Eric Maschwitz’ Lied “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square”…
    Auf heitere, vollkommen in sich ruhende und verspielte Art interpretierte diese große Künstlerin einige Liebhaberstücke der vermeintlich leichten Muse – Lieder von Franz Lehar und Oscar Straus, Kurt Weill und Jacques Ibert, Richard Rodgers und Noel Coward. Ihre perfekte Intonation gab ihr jeden Spielraum zu gestalterischer Freiheit, sodass jede der Figuren, die sie auf Deutsch, Französisch und Englisch sang, zu einem eigenen Wesen wurde. Ihr warmes Timbre gab den kaum zählbaren Schlüpfrigkeiten in den Songtexten aus den 10er- bis 40er-Jahren des 20. Jahrhunderts eine vergnügliche Erfahrungstiefe.
    “Warum soll eine Frau kein Verhältnis haben?”, lautet ein Titel, in einem anderen preist eine Frau die Vorteile, die man mit gleich zwei Liebhabern hat. Und in “Mad About The Boy” öffnete Dame Felicity Lott mehr als einen Spaltbreit die Tür ins Boudoir einer Dame, die für die Amour fou zu einem jungen Kerl eigentlich ein bisschen zu alt ist – und die doch nicht anders kann.”
    Hamburger Abendblatt, 29 January 2011