Ethel Smyth: Composer, Feminist, Suffragette
Padlock IconThis article is only a portion of the full article. If you are already a premium subscriber please login. If you are not a premium subscriber, please subscribe for access to all of our content.

Published in: May-June 2017 issue.


IN LATE SPRING OF 2015, I received a flyer from Bard College advertising their SummerScape opera production of The Wreckers (1904), by the British composer Ethel Smyth, with a libretto by Harry Brewster. It took a moment for me to notice that the opera had been composed by a woman. Two thoughts occurred to me simultaneously: I had to see this opera, and who was Ethel Smyth? Despite growing up in a family that listened to opera as background music, I had never heard of her.

John Singer Sargent, Ethel Smyth, 1901
John Singer Sargent, Ethel Smyth, 1901

To continue reading this article, please LOGIN or SUBSCRIBE