Frances Yeend: Silvery-voiced lyric soprano

Frances Yeend was an American lyric soprano who sang at both the New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. She had a beautiful, silvery voice and started her career singing roles such as Violetta in La traviata, the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro and Micaëla in Carmen. Later her voice became more powerful and she took on dramatic roles such as Verdi's Aida, Puccini's Turandot and Strauss's Ariadne. Very good-looking and a fine actress, she was able to fill her characterisations with genuine dramatic tension.

She was born Frances Leone Lynch in Vancouver, Washington in 1913. She studied at Washington State College (now University). When she began to sing professionally, she used her married name of Yeend. She made her début as Nedda in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci at Spokane, Washington, but her early career was spent mostly in concert tours and radio work. In 1946 Yeend sang Ellen Orford in the US premiere of Britten's Peter Grimes at Tanglewood, during the Berkshire Festival. The following year she, together with the tenor Mario Lanza and bass-baritone George London, made a world tour as the Bel Canto Trio.

In 1948 Yeend was engaged at the New York City Opera, making her début as Violetta. She remained for 11 seasons and during her early years with the NYCO, her roles included Countess Almaviva, Micaëla, and Marguerite in Gounod's Faust. In 1953 she made her Covent Garden début as a fragile but very musical Mimi in La bohème, followed by a spunky Micaëla. During her later years at NYCO she progressed to Eva in Wagner's Die Meistersinger and the title roles of Verdi's Aida and Puccini's Turandot. In the summer of 1958, she repeated Turandot at the Verona Arena and shortly afterwards at the Vienna State Opera.

The following year she took on two roles that apparently suited her rather better than Puccini's ice-maiden: Elisabeth in Wagner's Tännhauser at Fort Worth, Texas, and the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Empire State Music Festival at Sterling Forest Research Center in New York; both occasions were very successful. In 1960 Yeend sang her first Sieglinde in Wagner's Die Walküre at Houston and Abigaille in Verdi's Nabucco at San Antonio. She made her Metropolitan début in 1961 as Chrysothemis in Elektra. This, too, was a great success and she repeated the role at San Antonio later the same year.

Yeend made a fiery Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Zoo Park in Cincinnati during the summer of 1961; her other roles during three seasons at the Met were Violetta and, finally, Gutrune in Wagner's Götterdämmerung. From 1966 to 1978 she was professor of music and artist-in-residence at West Virginia University at Morgantown.

Elizabeth Forbes

Frances Leone Lynch (Frances Yeend), concert and opera singer and teacher: born Vancouver, Washington 28 January 1913; married first Kenneth Yeend (one son; marriage dissolved), second 1954 James Benner; died Morgantown, West Virginia 27 April 2008.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence