Royal Mail :Stamp on Blackburn\’s Singing Star Kathleen Ferriere

The life of East Lancashire’s greatest opera star is to be celebrated on a new stamp issued by the Royal Mail on 24th Feb 2012.Kathleen Ferrier, who went from working at \"\"Blackburn Telephone Exchange to gracing the stages of some of the world’s biggest concert halls, features in a new series of 10 stamps —– Britons of Distinction.This year is the centenary of Ferrier’s birth and a whole series of events and concerts are being planned around the country.Born in Higher Walton, Ferrier grew up in Blackburn after her father was appointed head teacher at St Paul’s School.She did not take up singing until she was 25 after winning a prestigious competition in Carlisle in 1937 From there her exceptional contralto voice saw her become one of the biggest stars in the world.During the Second World War she moved to London and toured entertaining the troops.Post war she gained an international reputation, visiting the United States three times in three years.Ferrier died at the height of her fame, aged just 41, in 1953 from cancer, an event which commentators at the time said “cast a shadow over the Queen’s Coronation”.The Kathleen Ferrier Cancer Research Fund has also established the Kathleen Ferrier Chair of Clinical Oncology at University College Hospital in London.The Britons of Distinction stamp features a portrait of Ferrier in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1947.The 10-stamp set features people with anniversaries in 2012 with five portraits and five examples of their work.

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