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Susan Bickley

Mezzo-soprano

  • Susan Bickley is firmly established as one of the most accomplished mezzo-sopranos of her generation, with a wide repertory encompassing the Baroque, the great 19th and 20th century dramatic roles as well as contemporary repertoire. In May 2011 she received the prestigious Singer Award at the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK.

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  • Bickley has sung on many of the world’s great stages with conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Ingo Metzmacher, Trevor Pinnock, Sir Andrew Davis, Christian Curnyn, Sir Antonio Pappano and Mark Wigglesworth. Recent operatic highlights include Herodias Salome at Dallas Opera and San Francisco Opera, Messagiera Orfeo with the Royal Opera House at The Roundhouse; Mother in the world premiere of Tansy Davies’ Between Worlds, Eduige Rodelinda in a new production by Richard Jones, and Jocasta in the world premiere of Julian Anderson’s The Thebans, all for English National Opera; Kabanicha Katya Kabanova at Opéra de Paris, Kostelnicka Jenůfa, Baba the Turk The Rake’s Progress and Mrs Grose The Turn of the Screw at Glyndebourne, Irene Theodora, Ludmilla The Bartered Bride, Aksinya Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Babulenka The Gambler; Virgie Anna Nicole at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Madre in Nono’s Al gran sole carico d’amore at the Staatsoper Berlin and Salzburg Festival, Geschwitz Lulu at Opera Vlaanderen, Josefa Miranda in Love and Other Demons at Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg, Ghost in Birtwistle’s The Last Supper at the Staatsoper Berlin, Kabanicha, La Nourice Ariane et Barbe-bleue at Frankfurt Oper, Juno Semele, Storgè Jephtha, Dido/Sorceress After Dido, Mescalina Le Grand Macabre and Anne Two Boys at ENO and Ortrud Lohengrin and Brangäne Tristan und Isolde at Welsh National Opera.


    On the concert platform Bickley has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles. She made her debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel in Knussen’s Where the Wild Things Are, her Carnegie Hall debut singing Stravinsky Requiem Canticles; has sung Ligeti Requiem and George Benjamin Upon Silence at the Salzburg Festival; opened the 2008 Edinburgh International Festival and regularly appears at the BBC Proms. Performances during the last couple of seasons include Alexander Nevsky, Fricka Die Walküre and Waltraute Götterdämmerung with the Hallé Orchestra, the latter of which was recorded for commercial release and won Best Opera Album at the 2010 Gramophone Awards. Other engagements include Rubbra’s Ode to the Queen with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at the BBC Proms, Benjamin Into the Little Hill at the Messiaen Festival in La Meije, Auntie Peter Grimes with Sir Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Alice in Wonderland with NDR Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, Adès America: A Prophecy with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Symphony No.2 with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Bach B-minor Mass at the Barbican, London and performances with RundfunkChor Berlin, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Northern Sinfonia, BBC Scottish Symphony and at the Three Choirs Festival. Last season Bickley also sang Irene Theodora with the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen, Tippet’s A Child of Our Time with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Hallé.


    On the recital stage, Bickley has appeared with Roger Vignoles at the Kennedy Center in Washington, with Iain Burnside at the Wigmore Hall and at the Spitalfields Festival, and with Julius Drake at St John Smith’s Square and Oxford Lieder Festival. In autumn 2011 she performed songs and part-songs by Haydn at the Wigmore Hall with András Schiff and recently recorded songs by Poulenc with Graham Johnson for Hyperion.


    Susan Bickley’s other recorded repertoire includes songs by Ivor Gurney with Iain Burnside; Handel Serse, Theodora, Solomon; Purcell The Fairy Queen, Dido and Aeneas; Vivaldi Juditha triumphans; Reynaldo Hahn Songs; George Benjamin Upon Silence; Thomas Adès America: A Prophecy; and Simon Bainbridge Ad ora incerta and Primo Levi songs.


    This season, Bickley returns to Opera North for three productions, as Kostelnicka in Janáček Jenufa, as well as Waltraute Götterdämmerung and Fricka Die Walküre in Wagner’s Ring Cycle. She will also return to Welsh National Opera to sing Marcellina The Marriage of Figaro, and will reprise the role in summer 2016 at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. In concert, Bickley can be heard in Adès America: A Prophecy with the BBC Philharmonic, as Baba the Turk in Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress at the Edinburgh International Festival, and in George Benjamin Into the Little Hill at Lincoln Center. Further ahead, Bickley will return to the Royal Opera House, ENO, and Garsington Opera.

    2015-2016 season / 744 words. Not to be altered without permission.

Performances

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Season highlights

Kostelnička Jenůfa
Opera North


Marcellina The Marriage of Figaro
Welsh National Opera


Fricka Die Walküre
Opera North


Marcellina Le nozze di Figaro
Glyndebourne Festival Opera


Waltraute Götterdämmerung
Opera North

Concert repertoire

Adès, Thomas
America


Bainbridge
Ad ora Incerta


Bantock
Sappho


Berlioz
L'enfance du Christ
La mort de Cléopâtre
Roméo et Juliette


Beethoven
Missa Solemnis


Brahms
Alto Rhapsody


Britten
Spring Symphony


Elgar
Dream of Gerontius
Sea Pictures
The Kingdom


Haydn
Scena di Berenice


Mahler
Das Lied von der Erde
Kindertotenlieder
Symphony No. 2
Symphony No.3
Symphony No.8


Maw
Scenes and Arias


Mendelssohn
Elijah


Prokofiev
Alexander Nevsky


Ravel
Shéhérazade


Rubbra
Ode to the Queen


Stravinsky
Oedipus Rex
Les Noces


Requiem
Canticles


Tippett
A Child of our Time


Verdi
Requiem


Wagner
Wesendonck Lieder

Opera repertoire

Adams, John
Death of Klinghoffer


Barry, Gerald
Sidonie The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant


Bartók
Judith Bluebeard’s Castle


Berg
Countess Geschwitz Lulu


Berlioz
Cassandra, Dido Les Troyens


Birtwistle
Ghost The Last Supper
The Second Mrs Kong


Britten
Florence Pike, Lady Billows Albert Herring
Mrs Sedley, Auntie Peter Grimes
Mrs Grose Turn of the Screw
Hippolyta Midsummer Night’s Dream
Bianca Rape of Lucretia
Queen Elizabeth I Gloriana


Debussy
Geneviève Pelléas et Mélisande


Donizetti
Sara Roberto Devereux


Dukas
La nourrice Ariane et Barbe-bleue


Eccles
Juno The Judgement of Paris


Eötvös
Abbess Love and other Demons


Handel
Dejanira Hercules
Juno Semele
Irene Theodora
Storge Jephtha
Eduige Rodelinda
Cornelia Julius Caesar


Henze
Konfurstin Prince of Homburg
Carolina Elegy for Young Lovers


Holst
Savitri


Janáček
Kostelnicka Jenufa
Kabanicha Katya Kabanova
Emilia Marty The Makropulos Case


Ligeti
Mescalina Le Grand Macabre


Monteverdi
Penelope Return of Ulysses
Ottavia Poppea


Mozart
Marcellina Marriage of Figaro


Nono
Madre Il Gran Sole Carico D’amore


Prokofiev
Babulenka The Gambler


Purcell
Dido Dido and Aeneas


Shostakovich
Aksinya Lady Macbeth of Mtensk


Smetana
Ludmilla Bartered Bride


Strauss
Heriodas Salome
Clairon Capriccio
Klytemnestra Elektra


Stravinsky
Jocasta Oedipus Rex
Baba the Turk Rake’s Progress


Tippett
Andromache King Priam


Verdi
Mistress Quickly Falstaff


Wagner
Fricka Die Walküre
Waltraute Götterdämmerung
Ortrud Lohengrin
Brangäne Tristan und Isolde
Kundry Parsifal


Weill
Begbick Rise and Fall of Mahagonny

Susan Bickley’s Baba reminded us, as if we needed it, what a complete artist this indispensable singer has become.

Opera

The dramatic highlight of the evening...Susan Bickley brought tears to the eyes with her moving description of Wotan’s solitary, forlorn existence in Valhalla as he awaits the gods’ demise. She seemed to inspire Mellor to her most gripping singing of the evening – a staggering performance.

Sunday Times

...the sensational Susan Bickley in Walküre, the most terrifying dominatrix I have come across in many years. She is also Waltraute in Götterdämmerung, reason by itself to hear that performance. I’m not sure that she is celebrated as one of the greatest singers of our time; she unquestionably is that.

Spectator

Intermusica represents Susan Bickley worldwide

Julia Maynard
Director / Head of Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9902
jmaynard@intermusica.co.uk

Isla Mundell-Perkins
Associate Manager, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9915
imundell-perkins@intermusica.co.uk

If you have any queries, please fill in the form below, and we will be in touch soon

All artists

Chansonnier

HK Gruber

Special projects

Charles Hazlewood

Counter-tenor

Tim Mead

Rupert Enticknap

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles