Hill Smith, Marilyn
- Peter Kemp
(b Carshalton, Feb 9, 1952). English soprano. She studied at the GSM under Arthur Reckless and Vilem Tausky, then gained widespread recognition touring the USA, Canada, Australasia and the UK in Gilbert and Sullivan operas, also performing principal roles in early French opera with the English Bach Festival. She made her operatic début with the ENO (1978) as Adele (Die Fledermaus), followed by principal roles with the Royal Opera, Scottish, Welsh and Canadian Opera, Lyric Opera of Singapore, New Sadler’s Wells, D’Oyly Carte and the new Carl Rosa company. She has performed in opera, oratorio and in concert at many of the major European festivals including the BBC Proms, Aldeburgh, Paris, Athens and Cologne, and has made regular appearances on television and radio.
Hill Smith is adept at a wide variety of musical styles, and her award-winning recordings range from Rameau to Lehár. She is most acclaimed for her interpretation of operetta and has made a noted contribution to the recording of rare works by Johann Strauss II. Her voice is warm yet silver-toned with an innate intelligence of phrasing and clarity of diction. Max Schönherr was an enthusiastic admirer, while Mary Ellis deemed her ability to sing in true Viennese style ‘a technique that is all but lost these days’....