Cross, Joan (Annie)
- Bryan Crimp
(b London, Sept 7, 1900; d Aldeburgh, Dec 12, 1993). English soprano, teacher and producer. She began her musical life as a violinist while a pupil at St Paul’s Girls’ School, London. Continuing her studies at Trinity College of Music, she found Emile Sauret unmoved by her playing and turned to singing, making rapid progress under the tuition of Dawson Freer. Her career started in 1923 when she accepted the offer of unpaid chorus work at the Old Vic. After taking various comprimario parts she soon found herself singing roles such as Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) and Aida. As principal soprano of Sadler’s Wells (1931–46), she was recognized as a consummate singing-actress in an exceptionally wide range of roles, from Purcell’s Dido to Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Butterfly, Elsa, Sieglinde and the Marschallin. She made her Covent Garden début, as Mimi, in 1931 and sang Kupava and Militrisa in the English premières of Rimsky-Korsakov’s ...