Rachel Landgren

PhD – Music (Musicology)


Thesis Title
‘The Voice of England’: Cultivating the Sound and Image of the English Soprano (1920-1939)


During the 1920s, a generation of English sopranos cultivated successful careers as exponents of English and early music repertoire. Dorothy Silk, Elsie Suddaby and Isobel Baillie were seen as possessing the ‘ideal voice and personality to interpret the early repertoire’. With their uniquely ‘pure’ voices, these women became the ‘sopranos of choice’ for composers such as Gustav Holst and Vaughan Williams who were particularly interested in and influenced by music of the distant past. My research examines these pioneering singers and questions why they came to represent the sound and image of English music at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Dr Suzanne Cole and Professor Kerry Murphy