Manx Mastersinger - launch of new recording
Manx opera star praised in new recording

In February 1968, the BBC recorded a live performance of what the Sunday Telegraph music critic, Michael Kennedy, described as "a landmark in the history of British operatic performance".

This landmark was the Sadlers Wells production of Richard Wagner’s ‘Mastersingers of Nuremberg’ and the leading female role of Eva was sung by Manx opera star Margaret Curphey.

Classical recording company, Chandos, supported by Sir Peter Moores, has gathered together as many restorable private copies of that recording that could be found, and with the agreement of the BBC, it has collated a superb boxed set of CDs which are now on sale under the Chandos label - the reviews for which have been unanimously fantastic.

This is the first and only recording using Frederick Jameson’s excellent English translation of Wagner’s comic masterpiece and it is conducted by Sir Reginald Goodall who was later knighted for his services to music and in particular opera.

Michael Scott Rohan opera critic of the BBC Music Magazine in his review describes the recording as "catching the musical and spiritual glow of Goodall’s orchestra and voices" and he goes on to praise the radiance of Margaret Curphey’s Eva, together with the rest of a very strong cast including Norman Bailey as the "rich toned" Sachs and Alberto Remedios as the most "lyrically convincing poet knight" Walter he has ever heard.

In the 1970’s Margaret recorded what has become affectionately known as the ‘Goodall Ring’, a complete recording by Chandos in English of the Wagner’s Ring Cycle including many of the cast of Mastersingers and again supported by Sir Peter Moores.

Margaret reflected "Mastersingers was my first Wagnerian role and it was tremendously hard work but at the same time very exciting and rewarding to be part of the Reginald Goodall team which in 1969 moved to the London Coliseum and became the base of the then newly formed English National Opera."

Margaret returned to live on the Isle of Man in 1980 and announced her retirement in 1994 at a farewell concert performed at the Erin Arts Centre with Alberto Remedios and her husband Philip Summerscales accompanied by the late Jean Mallendaine.

The ‘Mastersingers of Nuremberg’ and earlier releases that complete the ‘Goodall Ring’ CD collection are available via the Chandos website, Amazon and through BBC Music Direct (telephone: 01634 832 789).

Listen to Margaret sing the lead female role of Eva on the audio page.