Amy Sherwin

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Sherwin circa 1900

Frances Amy Lillian Sherwin (23 March 1855 – 20 September 1935), the 'Tasmanian Nightingale', was an Australian soprano singer.


She was born at Forest Home, Huonville, Tasmania on 23 March 1855. She was taught singing by her mother.

On 1 May 1878 she appeared with an Italian opera company at Hobart, Tasmania as Norina in Don Pasquale and made an immediate success. Proceeding to Melbourne with the company she sang Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor on 3 June 1878, and was received with great enthusiasm, though it was realized that her voice needed further training. During the next few weeks she appeared as the title role in Wallace's opera Maritana, Leonora in Il Trovatore, and in other leading parts.

Proceeding to America in 1879 she created the part of Marguerite in the first performance in America of Hector Berlioz's work, The Damnation of Faust, in 1880. She studied under several masters both in America and in Europe, and appeared at the promenade concerts in London in 1883. In 1885 she sang at Covent Garden and afterwards with the Carl Rosa Opera Company.

From 1887 to 1889, she toured Australia, New Zealand, Japan, America and Germany with much success, in 1896 had a tour in South Africa, was in Australia again from 1897 to 1898 and in 1902 and 1903, she toured with Kubelik. She subsequently revisited Australia, and in her later years taught singing at London where she died on 20 September 1935.

She married and was survived by a daughter. Madame Sherwin had an excellent light soprano voice and for a time had a successful career. She was optimistic and without any sense of business, and her last years were clouded by a struggle with sickness and poverty. In May 1934, about £200 was raised for her benefit at Hobart.

She died on 20 September 1935 in Bromley in poverty at age 81.[1]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Associated Press (22 September 1935). "Amy Sherwin Of Operatic Fame Dies Penniless". Rochester Journal. Retrieved 2012-12-22. Amy Sherwin, noted operatic soprano, died here today. She was eighty-one. The singer, who once filled the concert halls of America with her golden voice and earned as much as 3,00 pounds sterling yearly, died almost forgotten, lonely - and penniless. Living in a fine style had depleted her resources and charges of the nursing home where she died had to be paid by charity.