Tragic death of Scottish mezzo

Tragic death of Scottish mezzo


norman lebrecht

August 26, 2022

Scottish Opera have announced the sudden death of company principal Michelle Walton:

We at Scottish Opera are deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic death of mezzo-soprano Michelle Walton on 23 August. Michelle was a Company Principal with Scottish Opera in the late 1990s and is seen here as Dorabella in Così fan tutte alongside Peter Mattei as Guglielmo.
Michelle also appeared for Scottish Opera in productions of The Barber of Seville, La Traviata, The Queen of Spades, The Magic Flute, Carmen, Parsifal and The Marriage of Figaro.

Our thoughts are with Michelle’s family and friends.

Friends report she died early this week while on vacation in the US with her husband, the baritone Mark Stone, and their son.

Here’s the official bio:
Michelle studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and at the National Opera Studio. She made her English National Opera debut singing the role of Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, following which she sang the title role in John Copley’s production of Lehar’s The Merry Widow and Mimi in Jonathan Miller’s production of La Boheme. Michelle covered the title role of Madam Butterfly in Anthony Minghella’s production also for ENO. She recently sang the role of Anna in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda for Opera North and Liu in Puccini’s Turandot for Welsh National Opera. Other roles include Pannochka in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Maiskaya Noch (Garsington Opera), Giulietta in Verdi’s Un giorno di regno (Buxton Festival), Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Garsington Opera), Ramiro in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera (Garsington Opera) and Ascanius in Berlioz’s Les Troyens (Edinburgh International Festival).


  • soavemusica says:

    Prayers seem to have vanished in the world of social/liberal media. Only “our thoughts” are now with the loved ones. Are they, really?

  • Just a member of the audience says:

    Mark Stone was singing Rene Gallimard in the Santa Fe Opera’s world premiere staging of M. Butterfly by Huang Ruo. His final performance was supposed to be August 24.

    In the “the show must go on” tradition, his understudy from the ranks of this year’s apprentice singers substituted for him on what must have been very short notice.

    That was Erik Grendahl, either still a student or barely out of Juilliard. And it was a splendid and professional performance all around, with no indication of the tragedy that caused that change – only a simple announcement from the stage about the substitution.

  • AndrewB says:

    I remember Michelle starting at RNCM, a pupil of Barbara Robotham I think. What a sad loss – condolences to her family. A very nice lady with a fine voice. I am sure she will be missed by her many colleagues and the public.