Death of an English Carmen, 78

Death of an English Carmen, 78


norman lebrecht

August 29, 2018

We have been notified of the death of Katherine Pring, a memorable Carmen and Fricka at English National Opera.

She was 78.

Katie joined Sadler’s Wells Opera in 1968 and made her Covent Garden début in 1972 as Thea  in Tippett’s The Knot Garden. That year she also sang for the first time at Bayreuth.


  • AndyB says:

    A fine and dedicated professional singer.

  • Jane Susanna ENNIS says:

    Sorry to hear this.

  • Rosalind Roberts says:

    So sorry to hear this. Worked with her when a student at RCM Opera School. She was already then a fine singer, hugely dedicated and hard-working. And great to sing with.

  • Another hasbeen says:

    A fine artist who can be heard to great effect as the Rhinegold Fricka and Waltraute in theGoodall Ring. On a lighter note she suffered a famous wardrobe malfunction as Dalila in Opera North’s (ENO North as it was) very first performance in 1978

  • Dame Anne Evans says:

    I am very sad to hear of Kathy’s death. We were students together at both the Royal College of Music and the Geneva Conservatoire and we joined the ENO on the same day in 1968, when the company moved from Sadler’s Wells to the London Coliseum, where we sang together regularly. She had a big following there and was always fun to be with.
    Old friends and colleagues might like to know that her funeral will be at Hove Cemetery Chapel on 11 September at 11 am. In the spring of next year there will be a celebration of her life at St Peter’s Church, Brighton. Further details later.

  • Paul Dawson says:

    So sorry to hear this. She was a seriously underrated performer. Great voice and brilliant actress. I can’t recall how many times I saw her Carmen. The BBC televised this and I’d love to get hold of a recording, but it appears not to be available. Her Waltraute was especially moving and I think of her performance every time I see or hear Act One of Götterdämmerung. Glad to have quite a few recordings and grateful for the memories. RIP ♥

  • Bill Colbourne says:

    I met Kathy (or Kathleen as she then was) in 1960, when we were both singing pupils of Mimi Scharrer in Hove. Obviously star material, she was soon in great demand at local music societies, but also proved popular as a cabaret singer. When she moved on to the RCM, Gordon Clinton persuaded her to change her name to Katherine, as it is “more international.” We kept in touch for several years. She was a lovely, generous person –
    RIP Kathy.

  • Chris says:

    Katherine sang the part of Dalila in the Saint-Saens opera which was Opera North’s (then English National Opera North) first performance in November 1978 – the orchestra celebrated its 40th anniversary on 16 October 2018