Highlights this season for British-Catalan mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons include her debut at the Teatro Real, Madrid as Jennie Hildebrand in Weill Street Scene, Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte for Garsington Opera and Alasdair Nicolson Shadows on the Wall – Five Hauntings at the Barbican with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Ben Gernon. Future engagements include a return to Glyndebourne Festival Opera and to the Teatro Real, and her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and for Monte Carlo Opera.
Recent operatic highlights include Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro for Garsington Opera and at the Théâtre Champs Elysées, Paris, her Glyndebourne debut as Lapák The Cunning Little Vixen, the title role La Cenerentola for Diva Opera and Kate Pinkerton Madama Butterfly for the Glyndebourne Tour and for Grange Park Opera. On the concert platform, recent highlights include Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music with Sakari Oramo at the Last Night of the Proms, Mendelssohn Elijah with CBSO at Birmingham Symphony Hall, Mahler Das Lied von der Erde at Oxford Lieder Festival, Vivaldi Gloria at the Royal Festival Hall with the Philharmonia Orchestra, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges with Stéphane Denève and the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Mozart Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bach Mass in B Minor with Ryan Wigglesworth at the St Endellion Festival, Mozart Mass in C Minor at St John's Smith Square, and Handel Messiah with Lawrence Cummings at the London Handel Festival. Upcoming highlights include Stravinsky Les Noces at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Haydn Harmoniemesse with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a concert at St John's, Smith Square celebrating the music of Michael Hurd.
A keen exponent of contemporary music, Fontanals-Simmons most recently premiered the role of Ursula in the Royal Opera House and Glyndebourne co-production of David Bruce Nothing, recorded two new songs cycles (Damsel, Wife, Witch by Glyndebourne composer in residence Lewis Murphy and Letters from Home by award-winning composer Benjamin Ellin), and performed Jonathan Harvey Songs of Li Po with Richard Baker at Barbican Hall which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. She is also a passionate recitalist and has performed at the Wigmore Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, and St James's Piccadilly.
Fontanals-Simmons trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, where she was awarded the Gold Medal, and was a Jerwood Artist at Glyndebourne for the 2015/16 season.
Romeo I Capuleti e I Montecchi *
Nancy Albert Herring *
Hippolyta A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Lady Essex Gloriana *
Kate Owen Wingrave
Lucretia The Rape of Lucretia
Paggio Francesca di Foix
Pinocchio The Adventures of Pinocchio
Ellie The Calling of Maisy Day
Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel
Woodpecker/Fox The Cunning Little Vixen
Charlotte Werther *
Nerone L’incoronazione di Poppea *
Dorabella Così fan tutte *
2nd Lady Die Zauberflöte
Sesto La clemenza di Tito *
Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro
Public Opinion Orpheus in the Underworld
Kate Pinkerton Madama Butterfly
Cat/Squirrel L'enfant et les sortilèges
Ruggiero Orlando Generoso
Drummer-Girl Kaiser Von Atlantis
Jennie Hildebrand Street Scene *
Mass in B Minor
St John Passion
St Matthew Passion
Sieben frühe Lieder
Les nuits d’été
A Charm of Lullabies
12 Poems of Emily Dickinson
Cinq Poèmes de Baudelaire
Trois Chansons de Bilitis
Siete canciones populares Españolas
The Music Makers
Mass in C Minor
Vesperae solennes de confessore
Shadows on the Wall
Canciones Clásicas Españolas
Petite messe solennelle
Frauenliebe und -Leben
The laurels must go to… Marta Fontanals-Simmons as Cherubino, possessed of a voice with highly individual character matched by natural dramatic instincts which, quite simply, made you forget she was acting.
Marta Fontanals-Simmons, a mezzo of tremendous promise, was superb as Ursula, forced into some horrific bargaining as the nominations get personal and she descends into madness. This young singer possesses a lovely, even tone allied to great stage presence.
Marta Fontanals-Simmons's Pinocchio has real star quality: she may be playing a puppet but there's nothing wooden about this young mezzo-soprano's fabulous performance.