News

Emma Kerr 1987 - 2021

We are very sad to share the news that Emma Kerr has died. Emma was a much valued member of the Glyndebourne Chorus, and a Jerwood Young Artist. She appeared in a host of Glyndebourne productions.

We are very sad to share the news that Emma Kerr has died.

Emma was a much valued member of the Glyndebourne Chorus, and a Jerwood Young Artist. She appeared in a host of Glyndebourne productions.

Stephen Langridge, Glyndebourne’s Artistic Director who worked with Emma on In the Market for Love in 2020, said: ‘Glyndebourne is a close-knit family, and the loss of Emma has been deeply felt across the whole company, in particular amongst her chorus colleagues. Many of us have beautiful memories of this outstanding young artist, on and off stage, and we hold these close as a constant inspiration as we continue making opera, the art form she excelled in and loved.’

Emma Kerr as Flora in La traviata, Tour 2018.
Photo: Robert Workman

Emma Kerr at the 10th anniversary Jerwood Young Artists concert, 2020.
Photo: James Bellorini

Born in Edinburgh, the mezzo-soprano received many accolades, having been named Scottish Opera Emerging Artist 2015-2017, she was also a Samling Artist 2016 and in 2017 was awarded the Audience Prize in the Peter Hulsen Orchestral Song Award.

She made her debut in the Glyndebourne Chorus in 2013, and returned in 2015 as a Jerwood Young Artist, having graduated with distinction from the Guildhall Opera Course that year. During that season she sang the role of the Shepherd in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges.

Emma Kerr (bottom row third from left) in L’enfant et les sortilèges. Festival 2015. Richard Hubert Smith

Emma returned to the Chorus in 2018 and 2019, when she took on the roles of Flora in the Tour 2018 production of La traviata and Siren 2 in Festival 2019’s Rinaldo.

Emma Kerr (far left) in Rinaldo, Festival 2019. Photo: Robbie Jack

Emma was particularly fond of Saul (2015 and 2018), a production that showcased the talents of the chorus members and put them front and centre.

Emma Kerr (centre) performing in the Glyndebourne Chorus for Saul, Festival 2018. Photo: Bill Cooper

In 2020 Emma was among the artists who returned to Glyndebourne for In the Market for Love, our creative response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She appeared in the outdoor summer performances, and re-joined the cast when the production moved indoors during the autumn, playing the role of Harry Coe for three performances in October.

Emma (far right) with the cast of In the Market for Love. Autumn 2020. Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

Also that summer, Emma took part in an outdoor concert to celebrate the tenth anniversary of our Jerwood Young Artists scheme, where she performed arias from Roméo et Juliette by Gounod and Handel’s Theodora.

Emma will be missed by her many colleagues and supporters from across the industry.

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