Butcher’s daughter went on to become a prima donna singer

PUBLISHED: 08:59 21 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:59 21 April 2018

Ruth Vincent at the height of her career. Picture supplied by Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society.

Ruth Vincent at the height of her career. Picture supplied by Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society.

Supplied by Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society

A Great Yarmouth butcher’s daughter who went on to become an opera singer and prima donna at Covent Garden will be remembered with a blue plaque in the town.

Ruth Vincent was born in the late 1870s, christened Amy Ruth Bunn and one of ten children, of butcher Henry Vincent Bunn and his wife Emma nee Long of Martham.

It was said a Norwich singing teacher was walking along Southtown Road where the Bunn family were living. He heard a girl singing so sweetly he knocked at the door and made an offer of three years’ free tuition.

She later went to London and took the stage name of Ruth Vincent and became understudy to the principal soprano in an opera being performed at the Savoy Theatre.

Her debut as a soprano was in the chorus of The Chieftains at the D’Oyly-Carte Savoy theatre in 1894 when she was supposedly 20 years old. She slowly established as the chief lyrical soprano on the English stage taking parts in several Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. She went to New York but the show was closed after 25 performances in September 1900.

Ruth Vincent married Lt Col John Fraser of the Royal Horse Guards who became a stockbroker and they lived in Finchley Road, London.

She returned to the West End stage in 1903 appearing in many musical comedies and went on a concert tour of the provinces in 1911 performing in the Messiah and Elijah and also appeared in major roles at Covent Garden.

She retired in 1930 and died in London in 1955 aged 81.

Great Yarmouth Local History and Archaeological Society will place the blue plaque at 10.30am on April 29 at Jack Vonde’s Butchers, the corner of Market Place and Middle Market Road in Yarmouth and Mayor Cllr Kerry Robinson-Payne will perform the ceremony.

Ruth Vincent’s voice can heard on You Tube singing Coming Through the Rye (1906) by going to hpps/

There will also be a plaque to mark the Hanseatic league office, in Yarmouth, at the Nelson Museum in South Quay. The league traded freely in commodities such as fish, tar, timber and wool and dominated commercial activity in northern Europe from the 13th to 15th centuries.

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