June Bronhill, Australian Soprano Who Changed Her Name to Honor Her Hometown, Dies

Classic Arts News   June Bronhill, Australian Soprano Who Changed Her Name to Honor Her Hometown, Dies
 
Australian soprano June Bronhill has died at age 75, the Associated Press reports.

Bronhill was born June Gough, but changed her name in 1952 to salute the people of her hometown: Broken Hill, an Outback mining town in New South Wales: who raised money to send her to England to pursue her career.

In an interview with the the Sydney Morning Herald, former Opera Australia artistic director and Australian Broadcasting Company opera presenter Moffatt Oxenbauld recalled the soprano's "crystal clear, diamond-bright coloratura soprano" and "impeccable diction." These qualities brought her renown in London, where she frequently performed, for roles in such light opera productions as The Merry Widow and The Sound of Music.

According to the Herald, former British prime minister John Major was a great fan.

Bronhill, who survived breast cancer, retired from singing in 1993 on account of acute deafness.

Australian prime minister John Howard said that Bronhill was a "great artist and somebody who we always identified with the cultural success of this country. I know that will bring a lot of sorrow to many people and many opera and other fans around Australia."


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