Browning Mummery (tenor)

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Joseph Browning Mummery (12 July 1888 – 16 March 1974), was an Australian opera tenor of the 1920s and 1930s who achieved a considerable reputation in Europe as well as Australia.

Mummery was born in Carlton, Melbourne. His first tutor, when he was a boy, was the Italian baritone A. C. Bartleman. In 1920, his operatic career began when he was accepted into the Gonzales Opera Company.

Throughout his career he played lyrical leading roles in a host of operas, including Madama Butterfly, The Magic Flute, La bohème and Tosca which was one of his favorites. He sang with Dame Nellie Melba in La bohème. The role he enjoyed most was David in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

He worked with conductors such as Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Sir Thomas Beecham and Sir Henry Wood.

He sang extensively in America and later taught in Melbourne. At one point he had a seven-year contract with His Master's Voice. Mummery appeared as the solo tenor in the 1934 film, Evensong with Evelyn Laye.[1]

He retired to Canberra, where he died in 1974, aged 85.


  • Griffin, James (1986). "Mummery, Joseph Browning (1888–1974)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 10. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 20 December 2012 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.