More sadness: Death of an English mezzo-soprano

More sadness: Death of an English mezzo-soprano


norman lebrecht

August 06, 2017

The international mezzo Ameral Gunson died on Friday night of cancer, her husband has reported.

Starting out in the BBC Singers while studying with Otakar Krauss, she became a soloist with the leading UK orchestras and quite a few abroad.

On the opera circuit her roles included Marcellina in Nozze di Figaro, Despina in Così fan tutte, Sesto in La clemenza di Tito, Marguerite in La damnation de Faust and Waltraute in Götterdammerung.

She appeared at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and at the opera houses in Helsinki and Turin.

In later life, she was a much sought-after teacher.


  • John Potter says:

    Very sad news. She also had a brief career in Swingle 2, which she left because of her dislike of flying, if I remember correctly.

  • Oive Simpson says:

    So very sorry to hear this. Amy was a wonderful singer and briefly a colleague in Swingle II. Listening to her radiant voice as I type this and sending sympathy to her family and friends – RIP Amy – gone much too soon.

    • Una says:

      Hi Olive, you would have known her well … so sudden. She was in fact 70 as we always celebrated each other’s birthdays.

      • Charlotte Collier says:

        Devastated by this news. A most wonderful teacher, coach and friend. Such a huge loss. Rest in Peace, et lux eterna

  • Carol Hall says:

    So sorry to hear this news. I had rather lost touch since I took over from her in Swingles.
    Condolences to her family.

  • Maurice Powell, musical director, the Isle of Man Symphony Orchestra. says:

    I am saddened to learn of the death of Amy Gunson. She was one of the most intelligent singers I have ever known; a real musician. I cherish the memories of her singing Brahms and Schumann lieder, and songs by Britten, Rubbra and Lennox Berkeley in the early 1970s. Her favourite Schubert song was, as I recall, ‘Ganymed’. I always imagined that she would feature prominently in the rival of interest in Handels’ operas, but am not aware that she did.

  • Linda Hirst says:

    Amy taught at Trinity Laban for several years which renewed our friendship from being in the same year at GSMD. She was wonderful and it’s so sad.

  • Sarah. says:

    One of the finest Mezzo-Sopranos and – later in life – teachers this country has produced has been taken too soon. Possessing a wonderfully rich and vibrant voice she could sing anything. She will be sorely missed by her fellow musicians and teachers as well as her pupils. Hopefully a memorial service for her will be arranged.

    • Merel says:

      Dear Sarah,

      I just came across all these comments on Ameral’s passing away and I wanted to confirm that a memorial concert is being organised. Would you like me to keep you informed about when this will be? If so, drop me an email on

      Kind wishes


  • Michael Johnston says:

    Another wonderful singer taken far too soon. I heard her “Sea Pictures” with – I think – the B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra under Christopher Seaman some years ago on Radio 3. It was simply the most sublime singing, Elgar must have been smiling as he looked down.

  • Merel says:

    Dear all who have left comments:

    I’m organising a memorial concert for Ameral. If your would like to me to send you more information about this please drop me an email on

    Kind wishes


    P.s my connection with Ameral is through Ardingly International Summer School and GSMD. I used to accompany her lessons both in college and at her house

  • ricardo gonzalez says:

    Please inform me of memorial concert. Thank you.

  • ricardo gonzalez says:

    Very sad. Goodbye dearest Amy.

  • Warren stutely says:

    We were very close at the guildhall and the same year !! What a dear dear person and wonderful musician. Please let me know about memorial. !!!

    All love and sympathy to Philip and family. Warren stutely

    • Ricardo Gonzalez says:

      Dear Warren Stutely,

      I knew Amy when she was in the BBC chorus, and for some years afterwards. She was, and will be to my dying day, very dear to me. The awful news of her death has profoundly affected me. Do you know anything about the memorial concert which is being organised? I’m having some difficulty finding out about it. As I didn’t have the opportunity to say goodbye to her, this concert may perhaps give me something approaching closure. Amy and I were important to each other once. Please help me if you can.

      Ricardo Gonzalez

  • Merel says:

    For anyone who might be interested:

    A memorial concert for Ameral will be held in Blackheath Halls on the 18th of February 2018. Time tbc. Email me if you’d like more information: