British mezzo-soprano Felicity Palmer made her Royal Opera debut in the 1984-5 Season as Andromache (King Priam). She has since sung Cook (Le Rossignol), Cat (L’Enfant et les sortilèges), Florence Pike (Albert Herring), Ino (Semele), Klytämnestra (Elektra), Mrs Lovett (Sweeney Todd), La Marquise de Berkenfield (La Fille du régiment) and Kabanicha (Kát’a Kabanová) for the Company. In the 2018/19 Season she returns as Countess (The Queen of Spades).
Palmer studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and in Munich, and initially performed as a soprano before switching to mezzo-soprano repertory in 1983. She made her English National Opera debut in 1975 and has sung with the company for more than forty years, recent roles there including Countess and Mrs Sedley (Peter Grimes). She has appeared for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, in roles including Waltraute (Götterdämmerung), Madame de Croissy (Dialogues des Carmélites) and Geneviève (Pelléas et Mélisande), and for companies including Dutch National Opera, Zürich Opera, Bavarian State Opera (where she sang Fricka in Der Ring des Nibelungen), Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, Paris Opéra, Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera.
In concert, Palmer sings regularly with orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic. She sings often at the BBC Proms, and has recorded prolifically, her discography ranging from Messiaen’s Poèmes pour Mi to works by Gilbert and Sullivan. She was made a CBE in 1993 and a Dame of the British Empire in 2011.