Maria Ewing, an opera singer who was the second wife of the British theater director Peter Hall and who helped raise his five children from a previous marriage, died on Tuesday in London. She was 71.
The cause was pneumonia after a period of illness, her family said. Ms. Ewing made her debut at La Scala in Milan in 1975, portraying the role of Dido in Henry PurcellP’s opera “Dido and Aeneas.”
“She was a legend,” said John Allison, who plays Orsino in Mr. Hall’s production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. “Tall, beautiful Maria Ewing singing Handel and Purcell — it doesn’t get any better than that.”
RELATED POST: Veteran Odia Actor Mihir Das Dies At 63
Her first and second husbands were American: the neurosurgeon C. Richard Hofmann, whom she married in 1966; and Sheldon Reynolds, a television producer and writer, with whom she had two children before they divorced in 1982.
Ms. Ewing became a naturalized British citizen in 1975. Married to Mr. Hall since 1990, she was stepmother to his five children from his first marriage, to Leslie Caron, the film actress and dancer.
She is survived by her husband; two sons, Matthew Hofmann of New York and Adam Reynolds of London; her father, Dr. Richard C. Hofmann of Nashville; her mother, Alice Hofmann of Nashville; and three grandchildren.
Mr. Hall, the founder of London’s Royal Shakespeare Company who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1977, died at 86 in September 2011. “Opera singer Maria Ewing, wife of Peter Hall, dead at 71.”