About Susanna

English soprano Susanna Fairbairn studied under the tutelage of Dennis O’Neill, Nuccia Focile and Alison Wells at the Wales International Academy of Voice and Trinity College of Music, and was an Instrumental Scholar whilst studying flute at Magdalen College, Oxford. She was a 2013 Park Lane Young Artist, winner of the Selma D and Leon Fishbach Memorial Prize at the 2014 London Handel Singing Competition, and now continues to forge a successful operatic and solo career. She currently learns with Raymond Connell.

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2016 is set to be an exciting and busy year. Susanna looks forward to making her Wigmore Hall recital debut with duo partner Matthew Schellhorn in June, and singing the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Longborough Festival Opera in the summer. She will also be travelling the UK once again with English Touring Opera, performing the roles of Donna Anna Don Giovanni, 1st Priestess and Greek Woman Iphygénie en Tauride, and Bice Pia de’ Tolomei.

Susanna’s previous roles with ETO have included Eleonora Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo and cover Gismonda Ottone. Last autumn she made her Royal Opera House debut in Gluck’s Orphée for John Eliot Gardiner, also touring the production to Hamburg and The Palace of Versailles. Other operatic roles include Juno La Calisto (Hampstead Garden Opera), Donna Elvira Don Giovanni (Co-Opera Co. and Opera Vera), Armida Rinaldo (dir. Nicholas Kraemer), Lady Billows Albert Herring (dir. Steuart Bedford/Bill Bankes-Jones), and Papagena Magic Flute (Opera in Oborne, including offstage flute). She created the role of Agrippina in Fragments of Sun, written for her by Effy and Litha Efthymiou and premiered at the Tête à Tête Opera Festival 2012. Chorus work includes Carmen at the Opéra Comique, Paris and Grand Théâtre, Luxembourg, including the acting/fighting part of Manuelita (dir. John Eliot Gardiner/Adrian Noble), and Le Freischütz again at the Opéra Comique and BBC Proms 2012.

Previous significant solo engagements have included Beethoven Symphony No. 9; Bruckner Te Deum; Messiah in Oslo and Madrid; Beethoven’s great concert aria Ah! perfido; Schumann with The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Israel in Egypt at Cadogan Hall and covering Missa Solemnis on an international tour of Beethoven, all with John Eliot Gardiner; Messiah at the Wales Millennium Centre; St. John Passion in Birmingham Symphony Hall; Tavener Veil of the Temple in Canterbury Cathedral in the composer’s presence; Dvořák Stabat Mater; Finzi Dies Natalis; Poulenc Gloria; Carmina Burana; Mozart C Minor Mass at the Trinity College of Music Sir Charles Mackerras Memorial Concert conducted by Sian Edwards; and two solo appearances on BBC One – O Holy Night on Christmas Day 2010 and The One Show in May 2014. She was also heard on the soundtrack of the BBC adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, now available as a track on iTunes.

A keen recitalist and explorer of contemporary music, Susanna made her Southbank debut in the 2013 Park Lane Group January series at the Purcell Room, where she has since performed a variety of other repertoire including works by Messiaen, Judith Weir, Joseph Horovitz, and Robert Saxton. As a duo, Susanna and Matthew have performed many recitals around the country. As well as their Wigmore Hall appearance this year they will also be performing at St James’s, Piccadilly and Chelsea Arts Club. Susanna recently performed David Blake’s fascinating and colourful cantata From the Mattress Grave with Ensemble Isis in Oxford

Susanna met with success from the moment she decided to swap the flute for a career as a singer. Even before she had had many lessons, she won an Apprenticeship with The Monteverdi Choir and John Eliot Gardiner, leading to a busy international touring schedule with the group, performing in top world venues such as Carnegie Hall New York, Vienna Musikverein, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and all of London’s major venues. This somehow jigsawed together with her postgraduate studies at Trinity College of Music, where she was supported by the Linda Pilgrim Charitable Trust, a Henry Wood House Bursary and TCM Scholarship, and won the Paul Simm Opera Prize, Wilfred Greenhouse Allt Prize, and the English Song Competition.

Some of Susanna’s other passions are Bikram Yoga, taramasalata and her red Brompton bicycle. She recently qualified as an Open Water Diver in the beautiful seas of Borneo.

Gallery

'And best of all ... outstanding'

The Times

'The strongest performance came from soprano Susanna Fairbairn as a blazing, venom-spitting Juno who easily stole the show with her electric stage presence and brilliant delivery'

Early Music Today

'Susanna Fairbairn got around these dizzying corners with justified confidence. Her range (tested to the extreme) was also outstanding, her diction good. ... Her searing expressivity was really exposed in Weir's A Spanish Liederbooklet ...'

www.classicalsource.com

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