(15 August 1933 – 29 April 2001)
Rita Hunter was a British operatic dramatic soprano.
Rita Hunter joined the Sadler's Wells Opera Company in 1957. For two years she sang in the chorus before touring with the famed Carl Rosa Opera Company.
After obtaining a grant she studied with Dame Eva Turner and returned to the Company as a principal.
There her roles included Senta in The Flying Dutchman, Musetta in La Bohème, Odabella in Attila, Fata Morgana in The Love of Three Oranges, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Amelia in A Masked Ball, Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, Elizabeth in Don Carlos and Leonora in Il Trovatore.
In an English Wagnerian Ring Cycle she sang all three Brünnhildes to much acclaim with the English National Opera.
As with the tradition of the Company it was sung in English but despite this the recordings are considered to be among the finest ever recorded of the Ring Cycle and earned Rita Hunter the distinction of being hailed as one of the greatest Brunnhildes of the later half of the twentieth century.
Under Erich Leinsdorf and with Dame Gwyneth Jones as Sieglinde she sang at the Metropolitan Opera in 1972 in Die Valkure.
At Covent Garden she performed the Gotterdammerung and Senta in "The Flying Dutchman" before later performances of Die Walkure in 1975 with Birgit Nilsson playing Sieglinde.
In Munich, Seattle, New Orleans she sang to rave reviews and in San Francisco she sang Norma and Sieglinde in the same week.
She moved to Sydney in 1981 and joined the Austalian Opera - among other roles she sang Lady Macbeth and Abigail in Nabucco.
She died in Sydney in 2001.