Nellie Smith

Nellie Smith. Contralto, b Skipton, near Bradford, Yorkshire, 1906, d Toronto 12 Jun 1958; LRAM. She began her career in England, singing in concert and on radio before moving to Canada in 1930.

Smith, Nellie

Nellie Smith. Contralto, b Skipton, near Bradford, Yorkshire, 1906, d Toronto 12 Jun 1958; LRAM. She began her career in England, singing in concert and on radio before moving to Canada in 1930. In November 1933 she made her North American debut with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in Mendelssohn's Elijah. She also was a soloist with the choir 1944-50 in its annual performances of Handel's Messiah. She made her TSO debut 15 Apr 1947 as a soloist in Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. In 1948 she sang in Messiah and Bach's St Matthew Passion for the CBC, and in 1949 she made her CBC Opera Company debut as Widow Sedley in Britten's Peter Grimes. She sang in the company's 1951 performance of Britten's Albert Herring, and in 1952 repeated her role in Peter Grimes. Smith also was a member of the CBC Light Opera Company and sang leading roles in all of its Gilbert & Sullivan productions. These included Ruth in The Pirates of Penzance, 1948, 1949, and 1950 and the Duchess of Plaza-Toro in The Gondoliers in 1952. She made her last major appearances as the Mother in Menotti's The Consul in 1953 and 1954 for the Opera Festival of Toronto (COC). Smith taught 1944-58 at the TCM (RCMT), where her pupils included Margaret Abbott and Gordon Wry