In this video clip, Maureen Forrester sings the English folk song "Blow the Wind Southerly" with John Newmark on the piano. From YouTube.
Youngest of a family of four children raised in a working-class neighbourhood of Montreal, Forrester studied piano as a child. Encouraged by her mother she joined Montreal church choirs, where two organists, Warner Norman at St James United and Doris Killam at Stanley Presbyterian, provided a background in music theory and literature. After she left high school at 13 her studies were financed by her earnings as a secretary, supplemented by assistance from the Montreal Social Club. She sang as a soprano until she was 17. She had begun voice studies at 16 in Montreal with Sally Martin, who soon recognized the potential of her lower voice, and she continued at 19 with Frank Rowe, a retired English oratorio and opera tenor. Forrester's studies with Bernard Diamant, whom she acknowledged as her most important teacher, began formally in 1950 and later continued on a casual basis into the 1960s. Forrester also studied with Michael Raucheisen in Berlin (1955). She was first runner-up in "Opportunity Knocks" of spring 1951 and also competed in "Singing Stars of Tomorrow" and "Nos Futures Étoiles."
Forrester made her professional debut with the Montreal Elgar Choir in Elgar's The Music Makers 8 Dec 1951 at the Salvation Army Citadel. With the Opera Guild of Montreal she was a sewing girl in Charpentier's Louise 9-10 Jan 1953 and the Innkeeper in Boris Godunov 8-9 Jan 1954. Although she had sung as a church soloist and in contests, Forrester did not make her recital debut until 29 Mar 1953 at the Montreal YWCA accompanied by John Newmark. This collaboration became a long-standing one and included world tours. Forrester was then engaged to give a recital for the Ladies' Morning Musical Club, which subsequently awarded her a scholarship. The expenses of launching a career which many accurately predicted would be among the greatest in Canadian annals were assumed for more than a decade by then publisher of the Montreal Star, J.W. McConnell, who had been made aware of the young singer's gifts by his music critic Eric McLean.
After Forrester's Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO) debut 8-9 Dec 1953 in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony under Otto Klemperer, the contralto appeared on CBC radio and TV, toured Quebec and Ontario 1953-4 for the Jeunesses musicales of Canada (JMC/YMC), and made her Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) debut 29 Dec 1954 in Handel's Messiah.
Forrester made her European debut 14 Feb 1955 in Paris at the Salle Gaveau with Newmark. The European tour that followed, planned by the Jeunesses Musicales of France to last two months, was so successful that Forrester and Newmark continued to perform in recital and oratorio, and on the BBC and the Westdeutscher Rundfunk until January 1956. A subsequent Canadian tour included the premiere 11 Aug 1956 at the Stratford Festival of Harry Somers' Five Songs for Dark Voice, a work commissioned for Forrester by the festival. Among other pianists with whom Forrester collaborated in recital were Stuart Hamilton, Donald Nolan, John Arpin, Derek Bampton, and David Warrack.
Forrester made her New York debut 12 Nov 1956 at Town Hall and shortly afterwards, at the request of Bruno Walter, she sang in Mahler's Second Symphony (the "Resurrection") 17-19 Feb 1957 with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall (she later sang the work at the orchestra's 10,000th concert, a gala performance in March 1982). She performed with the NY Philharmonic and Walter again in the spring of 1960, singing Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. In addition to a demanding schedule of recitals, oratorio appearances, and broadcasts in Canada in 1957, she appeared with the Royal Philharmonic in London (under Beecham) and the Berlin Philharmonic in its home city. Also in 1957 she married the violinist Eugene Kash (they separated in 1974). They had five children.
At the 1958 Vancouver International Festival she sang Brahms's Alto Rhapsody with the Vancouver Bach Choir under Bruno Walter (repeating it three days later in the presence of Princess Margaret) and premiered Jean Coulthard's Spring Rhapsody. She sang in 1960, 1961, and 1963 at the Casals Festival, and her 1960 performances there of the Alto Rhapsody and Scarlatti's recently rediscovered Salve regina were filmed by the National Film Board of Canada (Festival in Puerto Rico). In 1961 she gave the Canadian premiere (30 Jul) of the Salve regina at Stratford and the premiere (26 Aug) of Milhaud's Bar Mitzvah Israel at the First Israel Music Festival in Jerusalem. In November of that year she began an eight-concert tour of the USSR, and late in 1962 she toured Australia. She had lived for two years in Connecticut, and moved to Toronto in 1963. Her European and US appearances continued. In 1963 she sang in the NBC TV production of Bach's St Matthew Passion. In 1965 she and Lois Marshall joined the US-based Bach Aria Group (founded in 1946 by William Scheide), bringing the number of Canadians in the group's quartet of singers to three (with Norman Farrow, bass-baritone, an original member). Forrester sang with the group until 1974.
Often described as one of the world's leading contraltos, Forrester always remained loyal to her Canadian origins and to Canadian music. She premiered Gabriel Charpentier's Trois Poèmes de St-Jean de la Croix (1955); Jean Papineau-Couture's Mort (1956); Robert Fleming's The Confession Stone (Stratford, 16 Jul 1967); Harry Freedman's Poems of Young People; Srul I. Glick' s ... i never saw another butterfly... (Toronto, 6 Sep 1969); four of Keith Bissell's Six Folk Songs of Eastern Canada (at a CBC Festival, 12 Jul 1971); Oskar Morawetz' A Child's Garden of Verses (under the title From the World of a Child, at a CBC Festival, 10 Feb 1973) and his Psalm 22: God Why Have You Forsaken Me? (4 Jan 1984); R. Murray Schafer's Adieu Robert Schumann (with the NACO, 14 Mar 1978), Beauty and the Beast (with the Orford String Quartet, 1 Apr 1981), and The Garden of the Heart (with the NACO, 6 May 1981); Jean Coulthard's Three Sonnets of Shakespeare (Vancouver, 2 Apr 1978); and Stephen Chatman's You Are Happy (Vancouver, March 1989).
Forrester gave as many as 120 performances a year on five continents (at one time averaging above 30 each year in Canada alone) and performed with virtually every major orchestra and choir in the world under Barbirolli, Beecham, Bernstein, Casals, von Karajan, Klemperer, Krips, Levine, MacMillan, Ozawa, Reiner, Sargent, Stokowski, Szell, Walter, and many other conductors. She appeared frequently and toured as soloist with both the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (US, 1981-2 performing Berlioz's Les nuits d'été) and the Toronto Symphony (Japan and China, 1978). She returned to China in 1982 with Claude Corbeil and pianist Claude Savard.
Although she sang very little opera until the 1970s, she was Cornelia in a concert performance 18 Nov 1958 of Handel's Julius Caesar with the American Opera Society and made her Toronto stage debut 28 May 1962 as Orpheus in Orpheus and Eurydice under Nicholas Goldschmidt at O'Keefe Centre. Other assignments have included Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde in Buenos Aires (1963), for L'Opéra du Québec (1975) and for the Canadian Opera Company (1979); Cornelia in Handel's Julius Caesar (Forrester's US stage debut, 27 Sep 1966, with the New York Opera); the Witch in Norman Campbell's CBC TV production (1970) of Hansel and Gretel (a role she repeated at the 1979 Guelph Spring Festival, and at the San Diego Opera in 1984); Ulrica in The Masked Ball with the Edmonton Opera (1971); Fricka in the Canadian Opera Company's Die Walküre (1971); Carmen in a concert performance (1972) with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra; Madame Flora in Menotti's The Medium (1974 at the Stratford Festival and again in 1977 for the COMUS Music Theatre production in Toronto, which also was telecast by CBC in November 1978); Mistress Ford in Falstaff for L'Opéra du Québec (1974); Erda in Das Rheingold for her Metropolitan Opera debut (10 Feb 1975); the Countess in The Queen of Spades at Festival Canada (Festival Ottawa) in 1976, again in 1979, and in 1990 for her La Scala debut; Herodias in Salome with the Edmonton Opera in 1977 and the Canadian Opera Company in 1986; the Marquise in the Canadian Opera Company's Daughter of the Regiment in 1977, Festival Ottawa's in 1980, and her Opéra de Montréal debut in 1994; Klytemnestra in Elektra for the Canadian Opera Company (1983); Madame de la Haltière in Massenet's Cendrillon for the San Francisco Opera (1982) and the New York City Opera (1983); the Old Prioress in Dialogues des Carmélites (COC, 1986); and Amente Nufe in the premiere of Schafer's Ra in 1983.
Forrester also ventured into Gilbert & Sullivan repertoire, performing as Queen of the Fairies in Iolanthe (1984 at the Stratford Festival) and as Katisha in the Canadian Opera Company's Mikado (1986). As part of Carnegie Hall's centennial celebrations she was a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra in Verdi's Falstaff (15 Nov 1990) and with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Raymond Leppard in the world premiere of an orchestral arrangement of Britten's A Charm of Lullabies (22 Jan 1991).
Forrester's voice, originally a dark mezzo of trumpet clarity and power and at maturity a duskily sumptuous, extraordinarily responsive contralto at ease in the mezzo range, commanded virtually the entire repertoire within that range. She was most effective, perhaps, in lieder (especially Brahms, Schumann, Mahler, and Strauss), in oratorio, and in orchestral works with voice such as Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde. From the outset of her career, Forrester's singing was marked by a reliable and sophisticated musicianship of which impeccable pitch was only one facet. This quality, abetted by stamina and poise in the face of a hectic travel schedule and heavy advance bookings, made her popular with conductors and managers at home and abroad. In the early years a few critics felt she used the same sound to meet the varied demands of song, resulting in overly placid interpretations. However, as her experience deepened and her vocal control became more refined, her communicative powers increased. In the Toronto Globe and Mail, 5 May 1977, John Kraglund wrote, "It seemed to me that a well-ordered musical world would require that all vocal artists - if they could not study with Miss Forrester the art of using the voice as an instrument to interpret meaning as well as notes - should attend as many as possible of her concert performances."
Although she had coached singers previously, Forrester gave her first master classes in the summers of 1965 and 1966 at the Royal Conservatory of Music. In 1966 she became chair of the voice department at the Philadelphia Music Academy, beginning her second sojourn in the US. She returned in 1971 to Toronto and taught 1971-2 part-time at the University of Toronto, where her pupils included Mary Lou Fallis. She also gave master classes for the department of music of the University of Alberta (in 1985), and in many locations where she performed.
Forrester served a challenging term as chair of the Canada Council (1983-8). Throughout the duration of this voluntary position she travelled extensively, continuing to promote Canadian music and actively communicating to various levels of government the need for greater support and increased funding for the arts on behalf of Canadian musicians, artists, and cultural organizations. She was also chancellor 1986-90 of Wilfrid Laurier University. In 1986 she was named honorary president of the International Year of Canadian Music. Until the late 1990s she remained active in aiding various charitable foundations, performing at benefit concerts; she also was appointed as a director of du Maurier Arts in 1993, and was honorary chair of the Toronto School of Music Canada.
In the late 1980s Forrester's voice took on a reedier quality, and she began to include less contemporary music in her repertoire. During the 1990s she cut down on travel and trimmed her schedule to approximately 50 to 60 engagements annually. She sang with the BC Boys Choir in a 1995 concert, and in the Toronto Symphony's tribute concert of Mahler's Second Symphony in 1995, at which she was presented with the $125,000 Royal Bank Award. Further reducing her opera and classical recitals, by 1996 she had embarked, with composer-pianist David Warrack, on a national tour of their show Interpretations of a Life, featuring humourous tunes written for her by Warrack. Suffering from Alzheimer's disease, by 2002 she performed only occasionally. Forrester resided in a Toronto nursing home until her death in 2010.
Honours, Awards and Legacy
Forrester was named a Companion of the Order of Canada (1967) and received the University of Alberta National Award in Music (1967), the Council's Prize of the Harriet Cohen International Music Award (1968), and the Molson Prize (1971) awarded by the Canada Council for outstanding cultural achievement. In 1977 she was made an honorary member of the International Music Council. She was national president of the JMC 1972-5 and a member of the board of the National Arts Centre 1973-9. She was a founding director of the COMUS Music Theatre Foundation in 1975, and received the Canadian Conference of the Arts Diplôme d'honneur for outstanding service to the arts in Canada in 1980 as well as the Canada Music Day Award in 1981. She won a Canadian Music Council medal in 1983, was given a life membership from Canadian Actors' Equity in 1986, and won the music award from the Toronto Arts Foundation in 1988. In 1990 she received the Order of Ontario, and was inducted into the Juno Hall of Fame (at the time, the only classical performer besides Glenn Gould to be so honoured). In 1994 Wilfrid Laurier University named its recital hall for her and established a music scholarship fund in her name. Forrester received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award in 1995, a star on Canada's Walk of Fame, and Opera Canada's first "Ruby" award in the creative artist category in 2000. Also in 2000, CBC Radio Two featured Forrester on In Performance, and CBC TV aired the television documentary Maureen Forrester: The Diva in Winter on its Life and Times series. The contralto was made an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec in 2003, and in 2004 was named a MasterWorks honouree of the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada. The Stratford Festival administers a Maureen Forrester Award, and features promising Canadian musicians in its Maureen Forrester Young Artists series. The selection committee for the Royal Bank Award termed Forrester "a remarkable Canadian who has enhanced Canada's reputation around the world with her art, and provided leadership in artistic endeavour."
Maureen Forrester's life and career are profiled in the 1986 autobiography, Out of Character: A Memoir.
"This is our music: putting words to our musical history," Imperial Oil Review, no. 5, 1980
"Beyond La Belle Province," Music Magazine, Nov 1986
- with McDonald, Marci. Out of Character (Toronto 1986)/ Maureen Forrester: au-delà du personnage, trans Jean Chapdelaine Gagnon (Montreal 1989)
Preface to Barber, David W. When the Fat Lady Sings (Toronto 1990)
- in Strecker, James. "Glenn Gould: Man, Musician, and Legacy: Nine Canadians talk about the legendary pianist," Bulletin of The International Glenn Gould Society, March 1991
Bach Arias. Bach Aria Group, Priestman conductor. 1972. 2-Desto DC-7139-40
- Cantatas No. 35 and 42. Vienna Academy Chamber Choir, Vienna Radio Orchestra, Scherchen conductor. 1964. West WST-17080/West Gold WGS-8303
- Cantatas No. 53, 54, and 169. Vienna Chamber Choir, I Solisti di Zagreb, Janigro conductor. 1965. Bach Guild BGS-70670
- Cantata No. 170 - D. Scarlatti Salve regina. Wiener Solisten, Heiller conductor. 1966. Bach Guild BGS-70683
- Easter Oratorio. Temple University Conservatory Choir, Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy conductor. 1963. Col MS-6539
- St John Passion. Singing City Chorale, Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy conductor. 1971. 3-Col M3-30517
C.P.E. Bach - J.W. Franck - Schumann - Loewe. Newmark piano. 1958. RCI 149/(selections) RCI 615
M.C. Baker Seven Wonders. Bampton piano. 1984. 2-Centrediscs CMC-14-1584/2-RCI 585
Beethoven Missa solemnis. Singing City Choirs, Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy conductor. 1970. 2-Col M2-30083
- Symphony No. 9. St Hedwig's Cathedral Choir-Berlin, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Fricsay conductor. 1959. 2-Decca DXSA-7157/DG 2535-203/("Song of Joy") Polydor 2310-071
- Symphony No. 9. New England Conservatory Chorus, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Munch conductor. 1958. 2-RCA Victor LSC-6066/2-RCA VICS-6003/RCA AGL1-3007
- "Ode to Joy" from Symphony No. 9. Chorus of Rutgers University, MSO, Pelletier conductor. 1967. CBC Expo-1
Brahms Four Serious Songs - Wagner Wesendonck Lieder. Newmark piano. 1968. CBC SM-100/RCI 330/Lon CCL-6003/Lon STS-15113
- Two Songs, Opus 91. Trampler viola, Wadsworth piano. 1975. Classics Record Library SQM-80-5731
A Brahms-Schumann Recital: Schumann Frauenliebe und -leben - Brahms Zigeunerlieder; Two Songs, Opus 91. Joachim viola, Newmark piano. 1958. RCA LSC-2275
Brott Songs of Contemplation. Orford String Quartet. 1985. SNE 516
Casals El Pessebre. Puerto Rico Conservatory Chorus, Festival Casals Orchestra, Casals conductor. 1972. Col Master M2-32966
A Charm of Lullabies: Britten - Brahms - Coulthard - Dela - et al. Newmark piano. 1967. West 17137/West Gold WGS-8124
Cherubini Missa solemnis in D Minor. Clarion Concerts Ochestra and Chorus, Jenkins conductor. 1972. 2-Vanguard VCS-10110-11
Christmas with Maureen Forrester. 1982. RCA KXL1-0477
Custer Comments on This World. Phoenix Quartet. Serenus SRS-12031
Delius Songs of Sunset - Vidal Zino-Zina: Gavotte - German Gipsy Suite. Cameron baritone, Beecham Choral Society, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Beecham conductor. 1957. HMV-Odeon ALP-1983/(Delius) Arabesque 8026/(Delius) 2-EMI CDS-7-47509-2 (CD)
Duos: Schumann - Mendelssohn - Brahms. Streich soprano, Machwilsky piano. 1979. ETCETERA ETC-1010
Elgar Sea Pictures - Steven Pages of Solitary Delights - Forsyth Three Métis Songs from Saskatchewan. Ouellet harp, McGill Symphony Orchestra, Hoenich conductor. 1986. McGill University Records 85025/McGill 750-028-2 (CD)
An Evening With Maureen Forrester and Andrew Davis. Davis piano. 1985. Fanfare DFL-9024
Fleming The Confession Stone - Schumann Liederkreis, Opus 39. Newmark piano. 1982. RCA KRL1-0437/CTL S-5245
From Kern to Sondheim: Great American Theatre Songs. Arpin piano. 1987. Pro Arte CDD-374
Glick ... i never saw another butterfly... - Freedman Poems of Young People - Beckwith Five Songs. Newmark piano. 1970. CBC SM-77/Sel CC-15-073/(Glick) 4-ACM 34 (CD)/(Freedman) 6-ACM 8/(Beckwith) 5-ACM 26
Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice. Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Vienna Academy Choir, Mackerras conductor, Forrester (Orfeo). 1966. 2-Bach Guild BGS-70686-87/2-Bach Guild HM-66-67
- Paride ed Elena. Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Zagrosek conductor. 1983. 3-Orfeo S-118843
Handel Hercules. Vienna Academy Chorus, Vienna Radio Orchestra, Priestman conductor. 1966. 2-RCA Victor LSC-6181
- Jephtha. Amor Artis Chorale, English Chamber Orchestra, Somary conductor, Forrester alto (Hamor). 1969. 3-Vanguard VCS-10077-79
- Julius Caesar. New York City Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Rudel conductor. 1967. 2-RCA Victor LSC-6182/(excerpts) RCA LSC-3116
- Rodelinda. Vienna Radio Orchestra, Priestman conductor, Forrester alto (Bertarido). 1964. 3-West WST-320/3-West WGSO-8205/(excerpts) West WST-17102/(excerpts) West WST-17114
- Roman Vespers: Psalms 110, 127. Philadelphia Singers, Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Korn conductor. 1985. 2-RCA ARC2-7182
- Serse. Vienna Academy Chamber Choir, Vienna Radio Orchestra, Priestman conductor. 1964. 3-West WST 321/3-West Gold WGSO-8202/(excerpts) West WST-17115/(excerpts) West WST-17114
- Theodora. Amor Artis Chorale, English Chamber Orchestra, Somary conductor, Forrester alto (Didimus). 1968. 3-Vanguard VCS-10050-52
Handel - Purcell - Mahler - Duparc - Paladilhe - Debussy - Fleming. Newmark piano. 1967. CBC Expo-4/RCI 246
Haydn Ariadne auf Naxos - Coulthard Spring Rhapsody - K. Jones To Music. Newmark piano. Ca 1961. RCI 203/(Haydn) RCI 615/(Coulthard) 6-ACM 10/(Jones) 5-ACM 24
Le Lied: Schubert - Beethoven - Schumann - Brahms - Wolf - Strauss - Dvorak. Ladhuie viola, Newmark piano. 1955. Éditions du Club national du disque CND-7/Everest SDBR-3247
Lullabies: Dela - Arpin - et al. Arpin piano. 1988. Pro Arte CDD-411
Mahler Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Rehfuss bass-baritone, Vienna Festival Orchestra, Prohaska conductor. 1963. Vanguard VSD-2154/Vanguard SRV-285-SD/Harmonia Mundi HM-B-5116
- Kindertotenlieder; Songs of a Wayfarer. Boston Symphony Orchestra, Munch conductor. 1958. RCA LSC-2371/RCA Gold Seal AGL1-1338
- Das Lied von der Erde. R. Lewis tenor, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Reiner conductor. 1959. RCA Victor LSC-6087/RCA Gold Seal AGL1-5248/RCA 5248-2-RC (CD)
- Das Lied von der Erde. New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Walter conductor. 1960. Curtain-Call CD-206
- Das Knaben Wunderhorn: "Rheinlegendchen," "Verlor'ne Müh." Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Gamba conductor. 1979. MMG 112
- Symphony No. 2. Cundari soprano, Westminster Choir, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Walter conductor. 1958. 2-Col M2S-601/2-Odyssey Y2-30848/2-CBS M2K-42032 (CD)
- Symphony No 2. Ardwyn Singers, BBC Welsh Chorus, Cardiff Polyphonic Choir, Dyfed Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, Kaplan conductor. 1988. 2-MCA 2-11011
- Symphony No 2. St Louis Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Slatkin conductor. 1982. 2-Telarc CD-80081
- Symphony No. 3. Netherlands Radio Women's Chorus, Boys' Chorus of St Willibrord's Church-Amsterdam, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Haitink conductor. 1966. 2-Philips PHS-2996/2-Philips SAL-3593-4/2-Philips 420-113-2 (CD)
- Symphony No. 3. Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mehta conductor. 1978. 2-Lon CSA-2249
Maureen Forrester Sings Famous Arias of Bach and Handel. I Solisti di Zagreb, Janigro conductor. 1964. Vanguard/Bach Guild BGS-70669/"O Thou That Tellest") Moss MMG-1136
Maureen Forrester Sings Mahler and Brahms: Brahms Alto Rhapsody - Mahler Five Rückert Songs. Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Fricsay conductor. 1957. DG LPE- 17199/Heliodor 89-857
Maureen Forrester Sings Operatic Arias and Songs: Handel - Gluck - Mozart - Purcell. Vienna Academy Choir, Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Zeller conductor. 1964. West WST-17074/HMV Concert Classics SXLP-20096
Meet Me in St. Louis. Fanfare Palm Court Ensemble, Arpin conductor. 1989. Pro Arte CDD-456
Mozart after Hours. Vienna Academy Choir, Vienna State Opera Orchestra members, Jazz Rhythm Group, Kingsley conductor and harpsichord. 1964. Vanguard VRS-79165
Mozart Ombra Felice - Somers Five Songs for Dark Voice. National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO), Bernardi conductor. 1970. RCI 286/RCA LSC-3172/(Somers)10-ACM 7
The Other Me. 1981. RCA KKL1-0440
Papineau-Couture Églogues. Duschenes flute, Newmark piano. 1954. Hallmark RS-6
Purcell Songs. Young tenor, Vienna Radio Orchestra, Priestman conductor, Isepp harpsichord. 1968. West WST-17113
Rachmaninoff Vespers, Opus 37. Choral Arts Society of Washington, Rostropovich conductor. 1985-86. Erato ECD-75319 (CD)
Ravel 3 Mallarmé Poems - Wolf 2 Sacred Songs. Stratford Ensemble, Armenian conductor. 1978. Cantabile CSPS-1349
Respighi. Lauda Per La Natività Del Signore. Philadelphia Singers, Concerto Soloists Instrumental Ensemble, Korn conductor. 1988. RCA Victor 7787-2-RC (CD)
Rodgers Carousel. Ambrosian Singers, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Gemignani conductor. 1987. MCA 6209
Schafer Adieu Robert Schumann. NACO, Bernardi conductor. 1978. CBC SM-364
- "Aria" from Ra. Wyre percussion. 1983. Centrediscs CMC-1283
Schubert "An Die Musik," "Ständchen" - Schafer The Star Princess and the Waterlilies. Toronto Children's Chorus, Bartle conductor, Cameron narrator. 1986-7. TCC D-004
Strauss Elektra. Opera National de France, Perick conductor. 1984. 2-Rodolphe RP-12420/2-Rodolphe RPC-32420 (CD)
Verdi Requiem. Amara soprano, Tucker tenor, London baritone, Westminster Choir, Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy conductor. 1964. 2-Col M2S-707/2-Odyssey Y2-35230
Weigel Three Songs. Phoenix String Quartet. 1976. Serenus SRS-12062
Willan Songs and Folk Songs - Fleming Folk Lullabies - Bissell From Six Folk Songs. Newmark piano. 1971. CBC SM-144
Wagner Wesendonck Lieder - Archer 4 Songs. Newmark piano. 1954. RCI 108/(Archer 3 songs) 6-ACM 17
Extended scenes from Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. VHS. Video Artists International/Radio-Canada, 1999
"For the first time in my life," Opera Canada, May-Jun 1962
Gilmour, Clyde. "Everything always comes up roses for Maureen," Maclean's, 23 Jan 1965
Peyser, Joan. "She waited for the right moment," New York Times, 25 Sep 1966
Gingras, Claude. '"Je suis émotive; il faut que je croie à ce que je chante," Montreal La Presse, 8 Feb 1969
Mould, Warren. "Bewitching world Lieder," Sound, vol 2, Mar 1971
Edmonds, Alan. "Big Mo," The Canadian, 29 Jan 1977
Colgrass, Ulla. "The battle for excellence - Forrester style," Music, vol 1, Jan-Feb 1978
Harris, Marjorie. "Travels with Maureen," The Canadian, 6 Jan 1979
Brouillet, Jacques. "Maureen Forrester: une femme qui ne sait où donner... du coeur," Aria, vol 7, Summer 1984
McGreevy, John. "Chairman Mo," Opera Canada, vol 25, Summer 1984
Gerson, Mark. "Maureen Forrester debuts with Canada Council," Performing Arts in Canada, Fall 1984
MacSkimming, Roy. "Maureen Forrester; the power behind the personality," Chatelaine, May 1985
Wachtel, Eleanor. "Do re mi fa sol la ti dough," Financial Post, May 1988
Kraglund, John. "Character study," Opera Canada, vol 31, Summer 1990
Kaptainis, Arthur. "Maureen Forrester delighted to be back: Diva makes unlikely debut at age 63," The Gazette, 28 May 1994
Adilman, Sid. "Canada sings Happy Birthday to praised contralto," Toronto Star, 15 Nov 1995
Roy, Lynette. Maureen Forrester: Canada's charming contralto: a biography for young people (Toronto 1999)
Knelman, Martin. "Down-to-earth diva saluted," Toronto Star, 8 Oct 2000
Blatchford, Christie. "Maureen Forrester's life out of the spotlight: Contralto lives in a plain, small room and wonders why," National Post, 1 Sept 2001
Kaptainis, Arthur. "Opera star Maureen Forrester dies at 79," The Gazette (Montreal), 17 Jun 2010
Author Margaret Frazer, Susan Spier, Betty Nygaard King, Sarah Church
Links to Other Sites
Canadian Music Hall of Fame
The website for the Canadian Music Hall of Fame from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS).
Remembering legendary contralto Maureen Forrester
A CBC Digital Archives feature on celebrated Canadian opera star Maureen Forrester.
Maureen Forrester, contralto, has died
An obituary for acclaimed Canadian contralto Maureen Forrester. From the classical music magazine "Gramophone."
Blow the Wind Southerly
In this video clip, Maureen Forrester sings the English folk song "Blow the Wind Southerly" with John Newmark on the piano. From YouTube.