Ann Murray DBE


Ann Murray has been acclaimed for her performances of the great Handel, Strauss and Mozart roles in the opera houses of  Hamburg, Dresden, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Cologne, Zurich, Amsterdam, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, La Scala Milan, the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival.  She has particularly strong links with English National Opera, the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and the Bavarian State Opera.  In 1998 Ann Murray  was made a Kammersängerin of the Bavarian State Opera and in 2002 was appointed an honorary DBE in the Queen's Golden Jubilee Birthday Honours.

She is a regular guest with the Glyndebourne Festival, English National Opera , the Royal Opera and the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

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News & Features




Malcolm Martineau, Linn Records

"Ann Murray sings with still-steady tone, sensitive phrasing and a quiet, concentrated intensity, flaring into passion in the central ‘An die Königin Elisabeth’ and culminating in a hypnotic, otherworldly ‘Gebet’ as Mary prays for deliverance. Here, and elsewhere, Murray has the art of increasing the tension without raising the volume."
Richard Wigmore, Gramophone Magazine
"Here are 25 songs that take you to the heights of 19th Century Romanticism, performed beautifully by some of the best current Lieder artists. The Schumann songs begin with the rarely heard Poems of Mary, Queen of Scots, Op. 135. Schumann was, like Schubert before him, enthralled by Sir Walter Scott. And Clara Schumann, I was thrilled to read, loved royal tragedies. Hence these songs, brooding and poignant in that beautiful Schumann way. Their delicate accompaniments and sudden surges of passion, even their melodies and harmonies are strongly reminiscent of “Frauenliebe und -Leben.” A set of songs Schumann set from Goethe’s “Wilhelm Meister” poetry, with the exception of the lovely “Mignon,” are tougher going for a Lieder fan because you keep contrasting them with Schubert’s more famous settings. A duet version of “Ich Denke Dein” likewise suffers. But it’s all first-rate music, and the “Meister” songs make me want to read Goethe’s book, which sounds like a crazy story. The Schumann set winds up with affecting duets including the rapturous “Minnespiel.” As for the Brahms songs, I love them all, from the transcendently calm “Your blue eyes” to the famous Brahms Lullaby. My great-grandfather was a blacksmith on Buffalo’s East Side, so I get a kick out of “The Smith,” a sultry love song a woman sings to the rhythm of her blacksmith sweetheart’s hammer. Oh, I could go on and on. This is a marvelous Lieder album. Besides Murray and Martineau, it also involves tenor John Mark Ainsley and Johnny Langridge, baritone Benjamin Appi and pianist Hester Dickson."
Mary Kunz Goldman, The Buffalo News, 1 March 2015


'Peter Grimes': 26, 27, 29 June 2014

San Francisco Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas, Davies Symphony Hall

"Mezzo-soprano Ann Murray was warm-voiced, a charmer as Auntie, landlady of the Boar, the village's public house."
Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News, 27 June 2014
"superb dramatic and vocal contributions are made by mezzo Ann Murray, as Auntie, the owner of the local pub"
David Wiegand, SFGate, 27 June 2014
"Ann Murray, Nikki Einfeld, and Abilgail Nims did fine work as Auntie and her two nieces"
Jeff Dunn, San Francisco Classical Voice, 26 June 2014

Brahms Recital with Hanno-Müller-Brachmann

Wigmore Hall

"Her still-penetrating mezzo was the highlight of the evening. This voice has had one careful owner and it shows in the way Murray really sings through Brahms’s cantabile lines while losing nothing in theatrical awareness. As a teardrop flows down the face of the narrator of Die Mainacht, so did Murray’s voice pour out similar pathos; in arguably the classic Brahms lied, Von ewiger Liebe, eloquent gesture and expression were fused." Neil Fisher / The Times / 15 January 2014


Le nozze di Figaro

Rose Theater, New York

"The veteran mezzo-soprano Ann Murray, as Marcellina, and the blustery baritone Andrew Shore, as Bartolo, who have their own reasons for trying to derail Figaro’s marriage to Susanna, bring not a trace of stock comic posturing to their winning portrayals."
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 12 August 2013

Britten Centenary / December 2012

Wigmore Hall

"Ann Murrays [...] singing of the final one, 'The nurse's song from The Play of Patient Grissell was a master class in the art of sustaining a legato line whilst providing the most telling interpretation."  Music OMH Web, Melanie Eskenazi, December 2012

Vaughan Williams

The Pilgrim's Progress

English National Opera

"Ann Murray makes vivid cameos of Madam Bubble in the Vanity Fair scene (a riot of colour thanks to Sue Wil­mington’s fancy-dress costumes, in marked contrast to her prison wear) and Mrs By-Ends."

Hugh Canning Sunday Times
"ENO favourites Ann Murray and Timothy Robinson twitter and titillate in the multiple leading roles"

Anna Picard Independent on Sunday
"several of ENO’s brightest young hopes – Benedict Nelson and Kitty Whately among them – complement expert old-timers such as Timothy Robinson and Ann Murray in a variety of minor roles."

Rupert Christiansen The Telegraph


Le Nozze Di Figaro

Glyndebourne Festival

"More entertaining singing came from the comprimario roles, a splendidly eccentric triumvirate of Ann Murray as Marcellina" Mike Reynolds Musical Criticism
'...and the double act of Ann Murray’s bird-like Marcellina and Andrew Shore’s explosive Bartolo is treasurable.' Edward Seckerson The Independent
'The best performances come from Marcellina (Ann Murray), dowdy Bartolo (Andrew Shore) and louche Basilio (Alan Oke), three feisty characters in search of a real drama to get their teeth into.'

Andrew Clements The Guardian


La Fille du Regiment

Royal Opera House

April 2012'She made the part just as much her own as she did on the last two outings, continually impressing for her comic sensibility as much as her superb vocal performance. She simply commanded the stage with ‘Pour une femme de mon nom’, her lower register particularly plush and resonant.' John E. De Wald Opera Brittania
'Ann Murray and Donald Maxwell, excel as the La Marquise de Berkenfeld and Hortensius with their brilliant command of comic gesture and timing'

Sam Smith Music OMH
'Ann Murray was in particularly fine comic form as the Marquise de Birkenfield who spirits Marie away from the regiment to her ancestral château, particularly impressive as she plays the piano for Marie's singing lesson while singing her own lines and staying thoroughly in character.'

David Karlin / Bach Track
'Ann Murray again demonstrates her peerless dry comic stagecraft as the Marquise de Berkenfeld'

Graham Rogers / The Stage
'Ann Murray was superbly ridiculous as the traumatised and desperate Marquise de Berkenfield (especially her alternate straight man/fall guy “singing lessons” with Marie and Sulpice: the singing about singing produced some of the best moments in the opera)'

ASH Smyth The Arts Desk