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Susan Bickley



Susan Bickley in action.
Susan Bickley as Virgie in Anna Nicole, The Royal Opera, © ROH / Bill Cooper 2011

British mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley made her Royal Opera debut in 1991 as Fyodor (Boris Godunov) and has since sung Aksinya (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk), Lyudmila (The Bartered Bride), Mrs Peacham (The Beggar’s Opera), Babulenka (The Gambler), Virgie (Anna Nicole, world premiere) and Old Countess (The Nose) on the main stage, in George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill in the Linbury Studio Theatre and Silvia (Orfeo) at the Roundhouse. In the 2017/18 Season she returns to sing Eurycleia (The Return of Ulysses) for The Royal Opera at the Roundhouse.

Bickley studied at City University and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has a long association with English National Opera, where she has sung roles including Eduige (Rodelinda), Jocasta (Thebans), Cassandra (The Trojans), Kabanicha (Kát’a Kabanová), Sidonie von Grasenabb (The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant), Mescalina (Le Grande Macabre) and D.I. Anne Strawson (Two Boys). Other notable appearances include Kostelnicka (Jenůfa) for Welsh National Opera and Glyndebourne, Cassandra for Opera North, Baba the Turk (The Rake’s Progress) and Mrs Grose (The Turn of the Screw) for Glyndebourne, Ghost (The Last Supper) for Berlin State Opera, Ortrud (Lohengrin) and Brangäne (Tristan und Isolde) for WNO, Herodias (Salome) in San Francisco and Dallas and Countess Geschwitz (Lulu) for Vlaamse Opera. Her role creations include Paulina (Wigglesworth’s The Winter’s Tale), Mother (Davies’s Between Worlds) and a role in Andriessen’s Writing to Vermeer.

Bickley’s concert repertory ranges from Baroque works to contemporary music. From 2011 to 2013 she sang in the Hallé’s concert performances of Der Ring des Nibelungen, as Fricka (Das Rheingold and Die Walküre) and Waltraute (Götterdämmerung). She has recorded for several leading labels.


News and features

What’s On Stage Opera Poll 2016 nominations announced

7 December 2015
What’s On Stage Opera Poll 2016 nominations announced

Nominees include Nina Stemme, Nicole Car, Mariusz Kwiecień and Kasper Holten’s production of Król Roger.