Dame Janet Baker

~ Person


Renowned opera singer knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to music.


Famous for singing roles origionally done by Castrati. Castrati were male singers who were castrated before puberty so that their voices wouldn't change. The Castrati sound combined the purity of a boy's voice, with the lung power and control of a full-grown male voice. Because this practice has been outlawed, today only women can sing in the range of a castrato role. Baker specialized in this type of role and became very famous for it.

info taken from http://www.imdb.com

Annotation last modified on 2005-04-24 00:58 UTC.


Dame Janet Abbott Baker CH DBE FRSA (born 21 August 1933) is an English mezzo-soprano best known as an opera, concert, and lieder singer.

She was particularly closely associated with baroque and early Italian opera and the works of Benjamin Britten. During her career, which spanned the 1950s to the 1980s, she was considered an outstanding singing actress and widely admired for her dramatic intensity, perhaps best represented in her famous portrayal as Dido, the tragic heroine of Berlioz's magnum opus, Les Troyens. As a concert performer, Dame Janet was noted for her interpretations of the music of Gustav Mahler and Edward Elgar. David Gutman, writing in Gramophone, described her performance of Mahler's Kindertotenlieder as "intimate, almost self-communing."

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1960 A Midsummer Night's Dream Mendelssohn; Heather Harper, Dame Janet Baker, Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer 2
1965 Cello Concerto / Sea Pictures Elgar; Jacqueline du Pré, Sir John Barbirolli, Dame Janet Baker, London Symphony Orchestra 7
1981 Songs for Sunday Janet Baker, Philip Ledger 1
1986 Le songe d'une nuit d'été Felix Mendelssohn; Heather Harper, Dame Janet Baker 1
1987 The Hyperion Schubert Edition, Volume 1: Goethe & Schiller Settings Franz Schubert; Dame Janet Baker, Graham Johnson 1
1988 Les Nuits d'été / La Mort de Cléopâtre / Les Troyens: Mort de Didon Hector Berlioz; Janet Baker 1
1988 Symphony no. 3 / Rückert-Lieder Mahler; London Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas, Dame Janet Baker 1
1989 La Chanson d'Eve and Other Songs Gabriel Fauré; Dame Janet Baker, Geoffrey Parsons 1
1991 Matthäus-Passion (1980 recording, not the 1959 one) Johann Sebastian Bach; Edith Mathis, Janet Baker, Peter Schreier, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Matti Salminen, Münchener Bach-Chor, Münchener Bach-Orchester, Karl Richter 1
1992 Orfeo ed Euridice Christoph Willibald Gluck, Dame Janet Baker, Elizabeth Gale, Elisabeth Speiser, Raymond Leppard & London Philharmonic Orchestra 1
1996 Orchestral Songs Gustav Mahler; Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bernard Haitink, Jessye Norman, Janet Baker, James King, Hermann Prey, John Shirley-Quirk 1
1996 Lieder Schubert; Janet Baker, Gerald Moore, Geoffrey Parsons 3
1997 From the Diary of Virginia Woolf Dame Janet Baker / Martin Isepp 1
2000 Haydn: Arianna a Naxos / Schumann: Frauenliebe und -leben / Schubert / Wolf / R. Strauss Haydn, Schumann, Schubert, Wolf, Strauss; Janet Baker 1
2001 Symphony no. 9 / Kindertotenlieder Mahler; Janet Baker, London Symphony Orchestra, Scottish National Orchestra, Jascha Horenstein 1
2003 The Dream of Gerontius Elgar; Dame Janet Baker, John Mitchinson, John Shirley-Quirk, CBSO Chorus, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Simon Rattle 1
2004 Opera Arias Gluck; Janet Baker, English Chamber Orchestra, Raymond Leppard 1
Das Lied von der Erde Gustav Mahler;Dame Janet Baker,John Mitchinson,BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra,Raymond Leppard 1
Verdi Requiem Verdi; Georg Solti, Leontyne Price, Janet Baker, Veriano Luchetti, José van Dam, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Margaret Hillis 1
Weihnachts-Oratorium Johann Sebastian Bach; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Philip Ledger, Elly Ameling, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Janet Baker, Robert Tear, King’s College Choir, Cambridge 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1981 Dame Janet Baker Sings Popular Schubert Songs Franz Schubert; Dame Janet Baker, Geoffrey Parsons 1
1989 The Dream of Gerontius / Sea Pictures Elgar; Hallé Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Choir, Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus, The Ambrosian Singers, Dame Janet Baker, Richard Lewis, Kim Borg, Sir John Barbirolli 2
1991 Symphony no. 1 "Titan" / Symphony no. 2 "Resurrection" Mahler; New York Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein, Edinburgh Festival Chorus, Janet Baker, Sheila Armstrong 1
2002 The Very Best of Janet Baker Dame Janet Baker 1
2003 The Legendary Dame Janet Baker Dame Janet Baker 1
2004 Cello Concerto / Sea Pictures / Overture: “Cockaigne” Elgar; London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli, Jacqueline du Pré, Dame Janet Baker 1
2007 The Dream of Gerontius / Enigma Variations Elgar; City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, Janet Baker, John Mitchinson, John Shirley-Quirk, Simon Rattle 1
2010 Janet Baker: The Beloved Mezzo Dame Janet Baker 1
2012 Elgar: Cello Concerto, Sea Pictures / Delius: Cello Concerto, Songs of Farewell Elgar; Delius; Jacqueline du Pré, Dame Janet Baker, London Symphony Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent 1
String Quintet in C / Ave Maria and other popular songs Franz Schubert; Chilingirian Quartet, Dame Janet Baker 1

Album + Live

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2001 Chausson: Poème de l'amour et de la mer / Berlioz: Les nuits d'été / Schoenberg: Song of the Wood Dove Chausson, Berlioz, Schoenberg; Janet Baker, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Evgeny Svetlanov, Carlo Maria Giulini, Norman Del Mar 1
2001 Lieder / Sehnsucht / Das Rosenband / Abendstern / Der Musensohn Schubert; Janet Baker, Graham Johnson, Martin Isepp, Geoffrey Parsons 1
2002 Mahler: Symphonie 2 "Auferstehung" Otto Klemperer, Heather Harper, Janet Baker, Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks & Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks 1
2002 Bruckner: Symphony no. 8 / Wagner: Tristan and Isolde: Prelude to Act I / Wesendonck Lieder Bruckner, Wagner; Janet Baker, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Reginald Goodall 1
2010 The Coronation of Poppea Claudio Monteverdi; Sadler's Wells Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Raymond Leppard, Dame Janet Baker 1

Unspecified type

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1997 Best-Loved Classics Vol. 15 Dame Janet Baker & Rudolf Kempe 1
1999 Elijah Mendelssohn; Gwyneth Jones, Janet Baker, Nicolai Gedda, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, New Philharmonia Orchestra, Chorus, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos 1
Mahler: Lieder Kindertotenlieder, 5 Ruckertlieder, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen Gustav Mahler, Dame Janet Baker & Sir John Barbirolli 1

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