(16 April 1927 – 8 December 1971)
Marie Collier was an Australian operatic soprano.
She first came to national attention in 1952 when she sang Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana for the National Theatre Opera Company in Melbourne, however it was an engagement a year later when she sang Magda Sorel in Menotti's The Consul that she really achieved her first accolades.
In 1955 she studied in Milan and after an audition was offered a contract with the Covent Garden Opera Company. She made her Royal Opera House debut as the First Lady in The Magic Flute in 1956.
Other roles followed including Hecuba in Michael Tippett's King Priam and the leading role in the Western premiere of The Makropulos Case at Sadler's Wells in 1964.
Other roles at the Royal Opera House followed and they included Musetta in La Bohème, Giulietta in The Tales of Hoffmann, Liu in Turandot, Flora in La Traviata, Butterfly in Madama Butterfly, and the title role in the 1963 production of Tosca.
Her greatest moment came in 1965 when she stepped in to play Tosca when Maria Callas cancelled three out of four performances at the Royal Opera. Her performance won her wide acclaim.
She followed this success in 1968 by again playing Tosca in what was the first ever opera telecast in Australia with Donald Smith as Cavaradossi and Tito Gobbi as Scarpia.
Marie Collier also scored a triumph when she recorded Elektra playing Chrysothemis to Birgit Nilsson's Elektra with Sir Georg Solti conducting.
She was chosen to sing Dido in Berlioz's epic opera Les Troyens in a big production at Covent Garden but tragedy struck first and life seemingly imitated art when she fell to her death from an open window in London. She was only 44 years old.
Marie Collier is pictured here as Tosca in 1965.