Great British mezzo-soprano dies of myeloma

Great British mezzo-soprano dies of myeloma


norman lebrecht

May 22, 2022

The family has reported the death of Anne Howells, a soaring international mezzo at the Met, Vienna, Salzburg and elsewhere and one of the most agreeable and unfussy personalities on the world stage.

Anne was 81. She leaves a son and a daughter from two marriages, to fellow-singers Ryland Davies and Stafford Dean.

She will be remembered with immense affection and appreciation.


  • AndrewB says:

    A wonderful singer and delightful artist on stage. She will be fondly remembered.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    So tragic. A beautiful voice and legacy for generations.

  • Christopher Clift says:

    I remember a beautiful, very very talented and musical singer from my days in Glasgow with the SNO and Scottish Opera. RIP Dear soul.

    • Nick2 says:

      Christopher Clift is so right. She sang many roles at Scottish Opera, notably a superb Melisande in Colin Graham’s production, Poppea for Anthony Besch with Raymond Leppard conducting, and a revival of the Besch Rosenkavier when she took over the role of Octavian from Janet Baker – with no less distinction. She can still be heard in excerpts from that Alexander Gibson Rosenkavalier along with Helga Dernesch, Teresa Cahill and the outstanding Michael Langdon as Ochs on the CFP Silver Doubles series.

  • Una says:

    A lovely interview I typed up for Bruce Duffie in Chicago that also included Stafford Dean. Worth a read. I had to look up myeloma, and which is another blood cancer. Wonderful Wonderful singer, and made a great contribution to our British musical life. May she rest in peace.

  • John Rudolph Quinn says:

    A sad passing of a great artist and a wonderful human being!

  • Has-been says:

    Very sad news. Lovely artist who gave up most of her international career to devote time to her family.

  • Anthony Michaels Moore says:

    This is sad news. She was a wonderful artist and a fine colleague. We had great fun together in ‘Arabella’ at ROH in 1990, she as Adelaide and me as Dominik—- the surtitles had to be altered as her delivery of “not now, maybe later” provoked much mirth at the Dress Rehearsal……RIP.