LornaWindsor began her musical studies as a child, with the piano and the viola; from the age of 8, for ten years she was a member and soloist of the internationally renowned girls’ choir, the Orpington Junior Singers, singing with the most prestigious international conductors (for example Sir Adrian Boult, Istvan Kertesz, André Previn, etc) and orchestras, where above all she received valuable training and experience at a young age.
She then studied singing and the piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with Ellis Keeler and Johanna Peters. She took part in master classes with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, and continued her studies of Lied and german repertoire in Vienna with Hans Hotter. In France she studied with Gérard Souzay whilst with Graziella Sciutti she worked on Mozart and the Italian repertoire. In London she won the Miriam Licette Prize for la mélodie française, and the Royal Society Lieder Prize for Lieder.
Lorna’s career took off immediately and so continues, along parallel paths, combining a balance of opera, theatre, recital, baroque and contemporary music, thanks to her open approach and appreciation of a wide variety of styles.
Regarding opera and operetta Lorna has sung in Europe’s main opera houses, both in opera, operetta and musical. Her debut was in the role of Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus (Johann Strauss) directed by Eric Shilling; then Offenbach’s ‘ Les Brigands’ for Radio France, and ‘ La Périchole’ with Manuel Rosenthal and Jérôme Savary at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées ; in Jorge Lavelli’s ‘Orphée aux Enfers’ she sang l’ Amour , and Valencienne in Lehar’s The Merry Widow’ at L’ Opéra de Marseille, Tours, etc.
She also sang in Bernstein ‘ s West Side Story’ , directed by G.Gelmetti and ‘ Trouble in Tahiti’ for Radio France, at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées.
Stepping back a long way from operetta, to opera of the late 16th century onwards, Lorna sang the lead role in Jacopo Peri ‘ s ‘ Euridice’ at the TMP Châtelet in Paris, toured the major European cities in Walter Pagliaro’s production of ‘Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda’ by Monteverdi, performed in Salieri’s ‘ La Secchia Rapita’ conducted by Frans Bruggen, at the Teatro Comunale in Modena. She has also recorded the Motets de Versailles by the 18 th century court composer Blanchard, for the Sorbonne University in Paris.
Her Mozart roles include that of Venus in ‘ Ascanio in Alba’ , (available in cd – Naxos), Pamina (and also Papagena) in ‘ Die Zauberflöte’ , Donna Anna in ‘Don Giovanni’, including the production by Deborah Warner for the Glyndebourne Festival, Despina in ‘ Così fan tutte’ , which she performed in numerous productions, including that directed by Claudio Abbado, and the production of Giorgio Strehler at Milan ‘ s Piccolo Teatro. With the latter production she has recently performed on tour in Europe, China and Russia.
In Italy she has performed in 18 th century operas of the Neapolitan ‘opera buffa’ tradition, including Paisiello’s ‘L’Idolo Cinese’ and Cimarosa ‘s ‘ L’Osteria di Marechiaro’ and ‘ Le Astuzie Femminili’ for the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, directed by Graziella Sciutti.
Other operas she has performed include Verdi’s ‘Un Ballo in Maschera’ (Oscar), Satie’s ‘Socrate’, Massenet’s ‘Manon’, Hoffmann’s ‘Ondine’, Rossini’s ‘Ermione’ and ‘La Cambiale di Matrimonio’, Donizetti’s ‘Don Pasquale’, R.Strauss’s ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ (Sophie) in Paris, Ravel’s ‘ L’ Enfant et les Sortilèges’, Scannavini’s ‘Mosè in Egitto’, Panni’s ‘The Banquet’, and also Panni’s ‘Garibaldi en Sicile’ (Teatro di San Carlo in Naples and Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome), Henze’s ‘The Raft of Medusa’ etcetera. She has performed on repeated occasions at the opera houses of Nice, Marseilles, Genoa, Bologna, Florence, Rome, Palermo, Naples, Ancona, Modena, Reggio Emilia, etc.
Lorna has also enjoyed success in plays such as Prosper Mérimée at the Théatre du Palais Royal in Paris, in Pushkin’s The Stone Guest, dir. A. Vassiliev, and Stravinsky ‘s The Flood and played opposite Susanna York in the London presentation of the musical ‘Tropic of the Senses’.
Her concert career is as intense as it is varied : from Bach cantatas with Gustav Leonhardt, Mozart, Vivaldi, Hasse, Boccherini etc with original instruments, Lieder with fortepiano, songs with guitar or lute, much romantic chamber music from Schubert to Shostakovic, regularly performing the Blok poems, lately with the Moscow Soloists, to Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, Kurtag’s Kafka-fragments, Berio, Boulez, Castiglioni, Cage, Denisov – to jazz and blues. In the field of contemporary music Lorna is frequently a guest at today’s major festivals and indeed is a chosen interpreter of composers of the present time.
She has made numerous recordings of french 19th century ‘mélodie’ including the songs by Nadia and Lili Boulanger; also songs of the Spanish composers Rodrigo, Obradors, Granados and Garcia Lorca ; of romances by Ottorino Respighi, Schumann, Rossini, Casella, Malipiero, Cole Porter, not to mention her strong interpretation of the Brecht-Weill songs she sings, or jazz with Sante Palumbo.
Lorna’s distinctive taste for using the voice in many styles reflects her musical, technical and linguistic versatility, but more especially is born as an all-embracing love for music and the art of song as a vital, necessary and extraordinary means of communication.
Lorna Windsor – crossover chanteuse – cabaret – opera – operetta – narrator – actress – jazz – Lieder singer, perfectly summed up by the critic Mario Gamba :
“One of the apreciable attributes of this chanteuse is that she has completely left aside the paraphernalia of the academic schooling of the voice, its registers and approach : caressing, amiable, rigorous…” (Mario Gamba, Il Manifesto, on the concert “Amores”, music by John Cage)
“the soprano Lorna Windsor, recognised as one of todays’s most penetrating interpreters of twentieth century music, from Schoenberg to Cage, to Togni,.. as well demonstrated by the numerous recordings which testify .” (GianPaolo Minardi, La Gazzetta di Parma)…