Miriam Licette


Miriam Licette (1892-1969) studied with such luminaries as Mathilde Marchesi (with whom Melba studied for a year), Jean de Reszke and Sabbatini (who also taught John McCormack). Unusually for a British singer of this era, Licette made her début in Rome before she was 20. Like many of her contemporaries, she was a member of both the Beecham company and BNOC before appearing in her own right in major roles at the International Seasons at Covent Garden. She appeared as, among other characters, Cio-Cio-San (sharing the role with Toti dal Monte and Rosetta Pampanini in separate seasons), Desdemona (opposite Renato Zanelli’s Otello), Donna Elvira (in a cast that included Elisabeth Schumann and Mariano Stabile) and Eurydice (opposite Dame Clara Butt’s only Covent Garden appearance, as Orfeo). In addition to a large number of separate recordings of arias and ensembles, Licette sang Marguerite in the complete recording of Faust under Beecham, as well as substantial extracts from Maritana. All her recordings show a pure, even and musical soprano although occasionally her English pronunciation is very much of the era.