Mezzo-soprano Kathleen Wilkinson made her Royal Opera debut in 2005 as She Ancient (The Midsummer Marriage) and has since sung Mother Goose (The Rake’s Progress), Third Maid (Elektra), Brigitta (Die tote Stadt), Filipyevna (Eugene Onegin) and Anna Kennedy (Maria Stuarda). She returns in the 2017/18 Season to sing Giovanna (Rigoletto).
Wilkinson was born in Lancashire of Irish descent, and trained at the Royal Northern College of Music. Her repertory includes Ursula (Béatrice et Bénédict), Mrs Herring (Albert Herring), Mamma Lucia (Cavalleria rusticana), Marcellina (Le nozze di Figaro), Mère Jeanne (Dialogues des Carmélites) and Mistress Quickly (Falstaff), which she performs for companies including English National Opera, Garsington Opera, Grange Park Opera and Welsh National Opera. She has a close relationship with Scottish Opera, where her roles include Erda (Das Rheingold), Schwertleite (Die Walküre), First Norn (Götterdämmerung) and Old Woman/Nurse (Inés de Castro), and role creations Mary Lamb (Monster!) and Margaret Muir (Friend of the People). International engagements include Auntie (Peter Grimes), La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi), Mistress of the novices (Suor Angelica), Grandmother Buryjovka (Jenůfa) and Lady-in-waiting (Macbeth) for Opéra de Lyon, Marcellina for Opera Vlaanderen and Opéra de Rennes, Old Woman/Nurse in Porto, Mother Goose for Opéra de Limoges, Opéra de Reims, Opéra de Rouen and Théâtre du Caen and Erda for the Sopot International Wagner Festival.
Wilkinson has worked with conductors including Mark Elder, Richard Hickox, Vladimir Jurowski, Charles Mackerras, Paul McCreesh, Carlo Rizzi and Robin Ticciatti, and recorded for the BBC, Opus Arte, Radio France and the Chandos ‘Opera in English’ label.