Amy Evans papers Edit

Summary

Identifier
PIMS 0026

Dates

  • 1907 – 1986 (Creation)

Extents

  • 2.13 Cubic Feet (Whole)
    (5 full letter-sized boxes, 1 card file box)

Names

Subjects

Notes

  • Abstract

    Born in 1884 in Wales, Amy Evans was an operatic soprano who performed in Britain and the United States in the early 20th century. The Amy Evans papers contain personal documents, correspondence, greeting cards, address books, and photographs from Evans and her husband, baritone Fraser Gange.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    Many documents in series 1 contain personal information and may be restricted. Contact the archivist for details. The remainder of the collection is open for use at the Peabody Archives.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Donor is unknown.

  • Biographical / Historical

    Amy Evans, once nicknamed “Lily of the Valley,” was renowned for her singing voice. Born in 1884 in Tonypandy, Wales, to a coal-mining family, she showed immense musical promise at an early age. In 1899, at 14 years old, Evans traveled to Cardiff to compete in the Welsh Royal National Eisteddfod. Competing against 78 adults, she won the contest by singing “Hear Ye O Israel” from Mendelssohn’s Elijah. When returning to Tonypandy, it was predicted that she would be the greatest soprano ever to come from Wales. A local dignitary, Robert Forrest, began sponsoring Evans. He housed her in his home, educated her amongst other dignitaries, and began vocal lessons. In 1910 she earned a role in W. S. Gilbert’s last opera, Fallen Fairies, at London’s Savoy Theatre. Impressed with her performance, the theatre signed Evans to a three-year contract where she played in several productions, including as the title role from Carmen. She then traveled to the United States where she sang with the Chicago Opera Company and appearing at the Lyric Theatre in Baltimore.

    In 1917 Evans was invited to solo at Queen’s Hall in London, where she met Scottish baritone Arnold Gange Adams, known professionally as Fraser Gange. The couple married shortly thereafter and toured together to New Zealand and Australia in 1920. They then moved to New York where her husband taught at Juilliard and other music schools in the area. In 1949 the couple moved to Baltimore, where Fraser Gange taught voice at the Peabody Conservatory. Evans was known socially as Amy Evans Gange or Amy Gange but retained the use of her maiden name in musical performances.

    After the death of her husband, Amy Evans gave some public performances, including one in 1960 when she returned to the Eisteddfod festival at Cardiff to sing “Hear Ye O Israel” once more. She continued to be an active member of the music community until her death in 1983.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Name of folder or item], [Date], [Box number], [Folder number], Amy Evans papers, PIMS.0026, Arthur Friedheim Library Special Collections, Peabody Institute, The Johns Hopkins University.

  • Processing Information

    Processed by Rebecca Roose in 2015.

  • Scope and Contents

    The Amy Evans papers (1907-1986) contain personal papers, correspondence, greeting cards, address books, and photographs from Amy Evans and her husband, Fraser Gange. The personal documents in Series 1 contain various legal documents, financial documents, news clippings, and concert programs. Series 2 contains personal correspondence between Evans and her family and friends. Some letters are supplemented with photographs. Series 3 contains greeting cards and postcards from family and friends inscribed with small personal messages. Series 4 contains several small calendars and address books used by Evans, many of which document her day-to-day life. Also included are three reel-to-reel audio recordings of Fraser Gange’s performances. Series 5 contains photographs of the Ganges with family and friends. Some photographs are inscribed by Amy Evans.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or perform materials in this collection must be submitted in writing to the archivist of the Arthur Friedheim Library.

Collection Details