Marie Tempest

Marie Tempest

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Marie Tempest

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Dame Marie Tempest DBE (15 July 1864 – 15 October 1942) was an English singer and actress known as the "queen of her profession".

Tempest became the most famous soprano in late Victorian light opera and Edwardian musical comedies. Later, she became a leading comic actress and toured widely in North America and elsewhere. She was, at times, her own theatre manager during a career spanning 55 years. Tempest was also instrumental in the founding of the actors' union Equity in England.

Life and career

Tempest was born Mary Susan Etherington in London. Her parents were Edwin Etherington (1838–1880), a stationer, and Sarah Mary Castle Etherington. Tempest was educated at Midhurst School and an Ursuline convent in Thildonck, Belgium. Later, she studied music in Paris, France and at the Royal Academy of Music in London, as a singing pupil of Manuel García, the tutor of Jenny Lind.Gray, Frances, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 3 November 2008

Tempest married Alfred Edward Izard, another student at the Academy, in 1885. That marriage ended in divorce four years later,...
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