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 • Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium
 • North Ryde
 • Ryde City
 • New South Wales
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Heather Begg
Birth: Dec. 1, 1932
Nelson
Nelson City
Nelson, New Zealand
Death: May 12, 2009
Sydney
City of Sydney
New South Wales, Australia

Opera Singer. A mezzo soprano, she sang more than 40 leading roles at London's Covent Garden and in opera houses the world over. Raised in Aukland by Scottish parents, she initially studied violin and double bass before receiving vocal training from famed teacher Dame Sister Mary Leo. While a student at the Sydney Conservatory, she won the 1955 Sun Aria contest, then earned a scholarship to the National School of Opera in London. Heather made her professional bow as Azucena from Verdi's "Il Trovatore", refined her skills with the Carl Rosa Opera and the English Opera Group, made her Royal Opera debut as one of the Valkyries in Wagner's "Ring Cycle", and revealed a talent for comedy as the Goddess Juno in a Sadler's Wells production of Offenbach's "Orpheus in the Underworld". She returned to New Zealand in 1964 but was soon dividing her time between London and the Southern Hemisphere. Never disdaining lighter fare, she was a noted Lady Jane in Gilbert and Sullivan's "Patience" in which she was able to accompany herself on the cello in the aria "Silver'd is the Raven Hair", which most singers mime, and The Queen of the Fairies in "Iloanthe". Over the years she sang the title 'cigarette girl' in Georges Bizet's "Carmen", the jealous Amneris in Verdi's "Aida", the Marquise of Birkenfeld from Donizetti's "The Daughter of the Regiment", Marina of Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov", two of Verdi's maids, Emilia from "Otello" and Flora of "La Traviata", Mrs. Sedley in Britten's "Peter Grimes", and Teresa of Vincenzo Bellini's "La Sonnambula", and was particularly praised as Marcellina in Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro". In the 1970s she made her debuts at La Scala Milano and in Chicago and was engaged as the principal mezzo at the Australian Opera, though she was later to resent designation as one of "Australia's National Treasures", correctly calling herself a New Zealander. Honoured as Officer the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1978, she was named Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (DNZM) on April 17, 2009, the announcement pushed forward due to her terminal illness. Her final performances were as Grandma Buryjovka in Janacek's tragedy "Jenufa" at the Sydney Opera House in 2006, and though slowed by illness her voice remained strong. Dame Heather died of leukemia leaving a number of CDs and DVDs documenting her art including John-Pierre Ponnelle's movie of "The Marriage of Figaro". (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Burial:
Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium
North Ryde
Ryde City
New South Wales, Australia
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: May 20, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37301484
Heather Begg
Added by: Bob Hufford
 
Heather Begg
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Tania Hackett
 
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- Bunny
 Added: Dec. 1, 2015

- Bob Hufford
 Added: Dec. 1, 2015

- quebecoise
 Added: May. 30, 2015
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