Elizabeth Forbes (musicologist)

Elizabeth Forbes (3 August 1924 – 22 October 2014) was an English author, music critic, and musicologist who specialised in writing about opera. Her main areas of interest were 19th- and 20th-century opera (French and Scandinavian in particular) and singers, both historical and present-day. She contributed a large number of reviews and articles to several notable periodicals and newspapers internationally including the Financial Times, The Independent, The Musical Times, Opera, Opera Canada, and Opera News among several others.

Born in Camberley, she was the author of numerous books on various subjects related to opera, including her 1985 work, Mario and Grisi, which details the lives of opera singers Giulia Grisi and Giovanni Matteo Mario. She wrote a significant number of singing translations of many operas, from French, German and Swedish, including works by Gaspare Spontini, Giacomo Meyerbeer and Franz Berwald, and also extensively contributed to reference works on singers and other operatic topics, including several hundred articles in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. [1]

She died on 22 October 2014.[2]


  1. Cummings, David (ed.), "Forbes, Elizabeth", International Who's Who in Music and Musicians' Directory (Classical and light classical), Routledge, 2000, p. 204; ISBN 0-948875-53-4
  2. Elizabeth Forbes: Musicologist and critic who translated librettos and wrote nearly 100 obituaries for 'The Independent'

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