Skip to main content

Sylvia Fisher

This page lists all known recordings of the Australian soprano Sylvia Fisher (1910-1996). She started her career on the concert platform and the radio in her native Australia but after World War II she travelled in London, joining the Covent Garden company in 1948. For the next decade she sang many of the most demanding dramatic soprano roles, often sharing them with international stars such as Astrid Varnay and Kirsten Flagstad. For such an important singer her recorded legacy is very small, and without broadcast recordings would be almost non-existant until the later stages of her career. Live broadcasts have preserved her Sieglinde in Die Walkure, her Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier, her Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes and her Queen Elizabeth in Gloriana. No trace seems to remain of her Countess in Figaro, her Kostelnicka in Jenufa, her Senta, or her Elsa, and only small fragments of her Brunnhilde, her Isolde and her Fidelio. It is possible that other recordings exist since Fisher appeared regularly at the Proms in the 1950s, often singing Wagner extracts, and made several recital broadcasts on the radio.

June 25, 1948 Zueignung; Traum durch die dammerung; Heimliche aufforderung; Ich trage meine mine; Cacile (Strauss); (BBC recital in Music Preserved; Zueignung and Cacile only in NSA) Repeated on Aug 27th, 1948

Feburary 22, 1949 Two arias from Tannhauser (in English) performed on Home Service programme "Ring up the Curtain" [second is incomplete]

February 24 1950 Queen of Cornwall (Boughton - BBC studio recording)

June 21 1950 Die Walkure (Act 2 extract) (Sieglinde ROH)
June 26 1950 Gotterdammerung (norn scene) (3rd Norn ROH)

January 3, 1952 Der Rosenkavalier Fisher, Shacklock, Guldbeck / Kleiber (ROH)

February 7, 1954 Delius Idyll BBC Radio broadcast (with Jess Walters c. Barbirolli and the BBCSO)

April 6, 1954 Die Walkure (on tour in Birmingham) (in house extracts, first 15 mins)

August 6, 1954 Fidelio (Ascheulicher only, part of a Prom concert)

August 25, 1954 Guerrelieder (Edinburgh Festival in NSA)

November 1954 Der Rosenkavalier (extracts Act 1-43 mins, Act 3-32 mins - house wire recording) (ROH)

August 19 1956 Beethoven 9 (Edinburgh Festival)

August 20, 1956 BBC Radio Recital Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder; Richard Strauss: Allerseelen, Heimliche Afforderung, Ruhe Meine Seele, Traum durch die dammerung, Cacile

August 29 1956 Delius Idyll (Prom concert with Ronald Lewis c. Basil Cameron, in NSA)

December 11, 1956 Delius Idyll (stereo recording made at Free Treade Hall, Manchester with Jess Walters c. Barbirolli and the Halle)

August 7, 1957 Tristan Wie lachend sie mir Lieder singen Act 1 Scene 3 (10 mins in total Proms)

September 27, 1957 Die Walkure (Sieglinde ROH)

January 21, 1958 Poulenc: Les Dialogues des Carmelites (ROH)
February 6, 1958 Britten: Peter Grimes, (ROH)

September 14 1959 Die Walkure (Brunnhilde - act 3 extract at the Proms)

August 22 1960 Wesendonck Lieder (Prom concert)

June 26, 1962 Albert Herring (SW - in Music Preserved)

August 23, 1963 Rape of Lucretia (Edinburgh festvial - in the NSA)

September 7, 1963 Guerrelieder (RFH concert)

October 14, 1963 Les Dialogues des Carmelites, (ROH)

November 22, 1963 Gloriana (RFH concert performance)

1964 Albert Herring (Decca recording)

April 23, 1965 Suor Angelica (ROH)

November 5, 1966 Gloriana (SW)

June 13, 1968 Gloriana (SW at Aldeburgh Festival)

1970 Owen Wingrave (Decca recording)

May 16 1971 Owen Wingrave (BBC TV broadcast)

March 27, 1972 Saul & David (Copenhagen Radio)

May 12, 1973 Owen Wingrave (ROH)

September 21, 1973 Katya Kabanova (ENO)

September 8, 1974 Katya Kabanova (ENO at the Proms)


Broadcasts not known to have survived

July 9, 1948 Recital with piano (songs unknown)

Septebmer 8, 1948 Hugo Wolf recital

September 19, 1948 Recital (songs unknown)

October 3, 1948 Der Neugierige; Mein; Der Bose Farbe; Die Allmacht (Schubert); Wenn ich in deine augen sich; Ich grolle nicht; Volkzliedchen; Fruhlingsnacht (Schumann) (BBC recital)

December 1, 1948 Brahms recital Auf dem Kirchhofe; Nachklang: Der Tod das ist die kühle Nacht; Standchen; Immer leiser wird mein Schlummer; Der Schmied

April 4, 1949 Ring up the curtain, arias by Beethoven and Mozart

June 10, 1949 Recital with piano (songs unknown)

Aug 22, 1949 Tchaikovsky The Maid of Orleans Recitative & aria 'So wills the Lord!...Farewell you native hills and fields' Act 1 No. 7 (Proms)
Sept 16, 1949 Beethoven 9 (Proms)

October 16, 1949 radio concert (songs unknown)

Jan 20, 1950 Beethoven 9 (Proms)

January 26, 1950 Radio programme for Australia Day

February 8, 1950 Lohengrin from Covent Garden
Sept 6, 1950 Lohengrin Einsam in trüben Tagen Act 1 Scene 2 (Proms)

November 12, 1950 Aria from Beethoven "Prometheus"

January 3, 1951 Rosenkavalier from Covent Garden?
Jan 10, 1951 Marriage of Figaro Porgi Amor & Dove Sono (Proms)

January 26 ,1951 Beethoven Missa Solemnis

June 7, 1951 Delius A Mass of Life
July 31, 1951 Fidelio Abscheulicher; Forza 'Pace, pace' (Proms)

January 30, 1952 Mathis der Maler (Hindemith) (BBC studio performances)
Sept 17, 1954 Beethoven 9 (Proms)
Sept 1, 1955 Walkure Act 1 sc 3; Gotterdammerung - Immolation (Proms)
April 17, 1957 Calmes aux quais deserts (Jongen); Tre Canzoni (Pizzetti) (BBC recital with Allegri quartet)
Sept 2, 1960 Gotterdammerung - Immolation (Proms)