Nan Merriman

U. S. American Mezzo Soprano

* 1920-04-28 Pittsburgh (as Katherine-Ann Merriman)

Nan Merriman studied singing with Alexis Bassian and Lotte Lehmann in Los Angeles. In 1940, she took part in a tour together with Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh: during set changes of Romeo and Juliet, she sang Palestrina and Purcell arias. In summer 1942, she debuted as Cieca in "La Gioconda" at Cincinnati. Later, after she had "won" 15 min of NBC broadcasting time at a singing competition, Arturo Toscanini heard her on the radio. With Toscanini, she then appeared as Orfeo, Meg, Maddalena, and Emilia.

After WW II, she started a succesful international career as a guest to many European and American opera houses (Vienna, Paris, Milan, Brussels, Amsterdam, Chicago, San Francisco) and as a concert singer. She was also a guest to the Edinburgh Festival (1953 as Baba the Turk in the British premiere of "The Rake's Progress"). In 1958, she created the role of Laura in Dargomizhsky's "The Stone Guest" at the Piccola Scala.

Her "signature role" was Dorabella in "Cosí fan tutte", which she sang amongst others at the Festival in Aix-en-Provence in 1953, 1955 and 1959; the Piccola Scala in 1955/1956, and at the Glyndebourne Festival 1956. She became also a favourite of the European concert public, especially in the Netherlands, where she performed frequently in recitals and concerts.

In 1965, she retired from the opera stage. After living in the Netherlands for some time, she moved back to the U.S. in 1973.

Her roles include

Recordings with Fritz Wunderlich:


Fritz Wunderlich Homepage She was an admired Dorabella at Aix-en-Provence in 1953/55/59, the Piccola Scala (1955/56) and Glyndebourne (1956). S