Susan Bickley

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 and Eurycleia (The Return of Ulysses) for The Royal Opera at the Roundhouse. In the 2018/19 Season she sings Second Harlot/Queen of Sheba (Solomon in concert) and Marfa Ignatevna Kabanová (Kát’a Kabanová) for The Royal Opera.

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 Herodias (Salome), Paulina (The Winter’s Tale, world premiere), Mother (Between Worlds, world premiere), Eduige (Rodelinda), Jocasta (Thebans, world premiere), Cassandra (The Trojans), Kabanicha (Kát’a Kabanová), Sidonie von Grasenabb (The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, world premiere), Mescalina (Le Grande Macabre) and D.I. Anne Strawson (Two Boys). Other notable appearances include Kostelnicka (Jenufa) 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 Opera Vlaanderen.

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

She has been invited as guest soloist at the International Opera Awards 2015, International Kammeroper Rheinsberg Schloss Opera Festival, and was chosen to sing before the First Lady of China, Madam Peng, on her visit to the UK in 2015.