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Dame Josephine Barstow is an English opera singer who made her professional debut (Mimì in La bohème) with the touring company Opera for All in 1964. She won a scholarship to study during 1965-66 at the London Opera Centre, where she met her husband Ande Anderson (d. 1996). During the following season, she sang Gluck's Euridice and Verdi's Violetta for the Sadler's Wells Opera Company and in 1968 she began a three-year contract with Welsh National Opera. In 1969 she made her Royal Opera debut as one of the nieces in Peter Grimes.
Among other roles with the Royal Opera, she has sung Alice Ford (Falstaff), Santuzza (Cavalleria rusticana), Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes, Leonore (Fidelio) and the Old Countess (The Queen of Spades). She also appeared in the world premières of two operas by Sir Michael Tippett: The Knot Garden (as Denise) and The Ice Break (as Gayle).
At Glyndebourne, she has appeared as Lady Macbeth, Elettra (Idomeneo) and Leonore. Roles with English National Opera include an acclaimed Violetta, Emilia Marty (The Makropulos Case), Natasha in the British stage première of War and Peace and the title roles in Salome, Aida, Arabella, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Der Rosenkavalier. Rehearsals for Salome and an interview with Barstow were featured in a December 1975 episode of the BBC television programme Arena.
Among other engagements outside the British Isles, she has appeared at the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Chicago Lyric Opera, the Vienna State Opera and the Bayreuth Festival. Latterly, she has performed a number of roles with Opera North, including Alice Ford, Lady Macbeth, Kostelnicka in Jenůfa, Marie in Wozzeck, Lady Billows in Albert Herring and in the title roles of Gloriana, Médée and Aida.
On March 22, 1986, Barstow reprised her role as Salome, this time at the Seattle Opera House, performing the Dance of the Seven Veils. She danced a choreography by Mark Morris, wearing a costume designed by Sarah Nash Gates, involving the literal removal of seven veils. At the end of the number Barstow was wearing only a G-string.
In October 2011 she appeared as the Countess in The Queen of Spades, also with Opera North. In Autumn 2017, she will appear in Follies at the National Theatre.
Follies Follies is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by James Goldman. The story concerns a reunion in a crumbling Broadway theatre, scheduled for demolition, of the past performers of the "Weismann's Follies", a musical revue (based on the Ziegfeld Follies), that played in that theatre between the world wars. Creat...
We reckon it's going to be one of the biggest shows of the season, but the National Theatre's run of FOLLIES has just become even more exciting! On Tuesday 22 August, the man himself, Stephen Sondheim will chat to Jeremy Sams about the legendary musical, chocked full of StageFaves from Imelda Staunton to Janie Dee. It's in the Dorfman so tickets are extremely limited, but you can enter a ballot to win the chance to get them...sign us up right now!
Stephen Sondheim's FOLLIES makes its National Theatre debut in September, care of director Dominic Cooke. Who'll be joining Imelda Staunton, Philip Quast, Janie Dee and other previously announced principals in the 37-strong cast...
The National Theatre is assembling a cast of 37 (accompanied by an orchestra of 21) for Dominic Cooke's major revival of Stephen Sondheim's FOLLIES. In addition to Philip Quast, Imelda Staunton, Janie Dee and Tracie Bennett, many more #StageFaves have now been confirmed...