English mezzo-soprano made her Royal Opera debut in 1998 as Suzy (La rondine in concert) and since 2003 has sung at the Royal Opera House almost every Season, her roles including Lucretia (The Rape of Lucretia), Judit (Duke Bluebeard's Castle), Siébel (Faust), Concepcion (L'Heure espagnole), Giulietta (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Carmen, Hansel and Maddalena (Rigoletto). She created the roles Miranda (The Tempest) in 2004 and Ariadne (The Minotaur) in 2008. In the 2014/15 Season she returns to sing Jenny Smith (Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny).
Rice grew up in Manchester. She studied physics at Oxford University and began a DPhil but after two years changed to study singing at the Royal Northern College of Music. After singing with the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus she became a member of English National Opera, and has gone on to become one of Britain's leading mezzo-sopranos. In addition to her Royal Opera roles, her repertory includes Penelope (Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria), Dorabella (Così fan tutte), Béatrice (Béatrice et Bénédict), Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), and Marguerite (La Damnation de Faust), for companies including ENO, Welsh National Opera, La Monnaie, Brusels, the Bavarian State Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Rice is a specialist in Handel opera, her many roles including Zenobia (Radamisto), Nero (Agrippina) and the title roles of Ariodante and Rinaldo, and is known for her championing of contemporary music.
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Harrison Birtwistle's operatic take on the Ancient Greek myth returns to The Royal Opera.