Dame Clara Butt

(1872—1936) singer

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British contralto. She was created a DBE in 1920.

Born at Southwick in Sussex, she studied with Daniel Rootham in Bristol and with J. H. Blower at the Royal College of Music, having gained a scholarship there in 1889. Butt made her debut at the Albert Hall singing Ursula in Sullivan's Golden Legend (1892): her beautiful voice and stately presence assured her a successful career. She developed her own type of ballad concert, which she performed in all parts of the British Empire. She was popular at festivals, her first engagements being at Bristol and Hanley (1893); Elgar wrote his Sea Pictures for her for the Norwich Festival of 1899. In 1900 Butt married the baritone Kennerley Rumford (1870–1957), from which time they pursued their careers jointly. She sang Gluck's Orfeo at Covent Garden in a notable revival in 1920.

Subjects: Music.

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