Julia farron obe (1922-2019)

Julia farron obe (1922-2019)Julia Farron OBE (1922-2019)

It is with great sadness we learnt of the death of alumna and former teacher Julia Farron OBE (1922-2019) this week.

Julia was the first scholarship student of the Sadler’s Wells (later The Royal) Ballet School, joining the School in 1931 and the Company five years later, aged just 15.

She retired in 1961 after a stellar career as a highly versatile and popular Soloist, creating roles in ballets by Ninette de Valois, Frederick Ashton and Robert Helpmann.

She continued to perform at Covent Garden as a guest Principal Character Artist for many years, and famously created the dramatic role of Lady Capulet in Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet (1965).

In 1964 Julia began her long and influential career as a teacher at The Royal Ballet School; she also helped to develop the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dancing (now the Royal Academy of Dance), and from 1983-89 she was its Artistic Director, then Director.

Julia was an important member of The Royal Ballet’s founding generation, and was held in great regard for her artistry, integrity and wisely-judged humour.

In 2007, she generously supported the preservation and display of The Royal Ballet School’s archival Special Collections, which enabled the development of a major new and freely accessible online resource, our Ballet History Timeline.

By Anna Meadmore, Manager of Special Collections, 2019

Pictured inset: Julia Farron in Ninette de Valois’ ballet, The Prospect Before Us (1940). Photo: Gordon Anthony ©Victoria and Albert Museum, London (The Royal Ballet School Special Collections)

Pictured top: Julia Farron when a student of the School (on far right) in the Vic-Wells Ballet’s 1934 production of The Nutcracker. Photographer not known (The Royal Ballet School Special Collections)