This page needs JavaScript activated to work.

Susan Bickley

Mezzo-soprano

  • Mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley is well-established as an artist of international renown, regularly appearing on stage at the world's greatest opera houses.


    Highlights of Bickley’s 2023/24 season include Hecuba / Victoria in the world premiere of Foccroulle Cassandra for La Monnaie, Mother in Humperdinck Hansel and Gretel for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Offred’s Mother in Ruders The Handmaid’s Tale for the English National Opera.

Read more
  • Recent operatic highlights include Auntie in Britten Peter Grimes for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Mrs Sedley in Peter Grimes for the Royal Danish Opera, Kabanicha in Janáček Káťa Kabanová and Matron in Shostakovich The Nose at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Bickley also has a long-standing relationship with English National Opera with roles including Dame Carruthers in Gilbert and Sullivan Yeomen of the Guard, Fricka in Wagner The Valkyrie, Offred’s Mother in The Handmaid’s Tale, Marcellina in Mozart The Marriage of Figaro, Herodias in Strauss Salome and Eduige in Handel Rodelinda. With the English National Opera, Bickley has also created the roles of Paulina in Ryan Wigglesworth The Winter’s Tale, Mother in Tansy Davies Between Worlds and Jocasta in Julian Anderson The Thebans, all world premieres.


    Bickley’s wide-ranging repertoire has seen her perform roles including Genevieve in Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande, Mrs Grose in Britten The Turn of the Screw, Kostelnicka in Janáček Jenufa, Kabanicha in Káťa Kabanová, Waltraute in Wagner Der Ring des Nibelungen, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Herodias in Salome, Baba the Turk in Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress, Madre in Nono Al gran sole carico d’amore and Ludmilla in Smetana The Bartered Bride at houses including Garsington Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opera North, Opéra de Paris, Welsh National Opera, Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, Staatsoper Berlin and the Salzburg Festival.


    Recent highlights on the concert stage include Auntie in Peter Grimes with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner, Dido in Purcell Dido and Aeneas in Boston with the Handel and Haydn society conducted by Harry Christopher, Fricka in Wagner Das Rheingold for the Hallé with Mark Elder, Adès America: A Prophecy with the BBC Philharmonic, and George Benjamin Into the Little Hill at Lincoln Center. Bickley has also sung Irene in Handel Theodora with the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen, Tippet A Child of Our Time with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo and Beethoven Missa Solemnis with the Hallé, Knussen Where the Wild Things Are with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Stravinsky Requiem Canticles at the Carneige Hall, Ligeti Requiem and George Benjamin Upon Silence at the Salzburg Festival and appeared regularly at Edinburgh International Festival and the BBC Proms.


    On the recital stage, Bickley has appeared with Roger Vignoles at the Kennedy Center in Washington, with Iain Burnside at the Wigmore Hall and at the Spitalfields Festival, and with Julius Drake at St John Smith’s Square and Oxford Lieder Festival.


    Bickley’s other recorded repertoire includes songs by Ivor Gurney with Iain Burnside; Handel Serse, Theodora, Solomon; Purcell The Fairy Queen, Dido and Aeneas; Vivaldi Juditha triumphans; Reynaldo Hahn Songs; George Benjamin Upon Silence; Thomas Adès America: A Prophecy; and Simon Bainbridge Ad ora incerta and Primo Levi songs.


    Bickley was awarded the prestigious Singer Award at the 2011 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK.

    2023/24 season / 546 words. Not to be altered without permission.

Performances

View more
Close
Loading performances...

Opera repertoire

Adams, John
Death of Klinghoffer


Barry, Gerald
Sidonie The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant


Bartók
Judith Bluebeard’s Castle


Berg
Countess Geschwitz Lulu


Berlioz
Cassandra, Dido Les Troyens


Birtwistle
Ghost The Last Supper
The Second Mrs Kong


Britten
Florence Pike, Lady Billows Albert Herring
Mrs Sedley, Auntie Peter Grimes
Mrs Grose Turn of the Screw
Hippolyta Midsummer Night’s Dream
Bianca Rape of Lucretia
Queen Elizabeth I Gloriana


Debussy
Geneviève Pelléas et Mélisande


Donizetti
Sara Roberto Devereux


Dukas
La nourrice Ariane et Barbe-bleue


Eccles
Juno The Judgement of Paris


Eötvös
Abbess Love and other Demons


Handel
Dejanira Hercules
Juno Semele
Irene Theodora
Storge Jephtha
Eduige Rodelinda
Cornelia Julius Caesar


Henze
Konfurstin Prince of Homburg
Carolina Elegy for Young Lovers


Holst
Savitri


Janáček
Kostelnicka Jenufa
Kabanicha Katya Kabanova
Emilia Marty The Makropulos Case


Ligeti
Mescalina Le Grand Macabre


Monteverdi
Penelope Return of Ulysses
Ottavia Poppea


Mozart
Marcellina Marriage of Figaro


Nono
Madre Il Gran Sole Carico D’amore


Prokofiev
Babulenka The Gambler


Purcell
Dido Dido and Aeneas


Shostakovich
Aksinya Lady Macbeth of Mtensk


Smetana
Ludmilla Bartered Bride


Strauss
Heriodas Salome
Clairon Capriccio
Klytemnestra Elektra


Stravinsky
Jocasta Oedipus Rex
Baba the Turk Rake’s Progress


Tippett
Andromache King Priam


Verdi
Mistress Quickly Falstaff


Wagner
Fricka Die Walküre
Waltraute Götterdämmerung
Ortrud Lohengrin
Brangäne Tristan und Isolde
Kundry Parsifal


Weill
Begbick Rise and Fall of Mahagonny

Concert repertoire

Adès, Thomas
America


Bainbridge
Ad ora Incerta


Bantock
Sappho


Berlioz
L'enfance du Christ
La mort de Cléopâtre
Roméo et Juliette


Beethoven
Missa Solemnis


Brahms
Alto Rhapsody


Britten
Spring Symphony


Elgar
Dream of Gerontius
Sea Pictures
The Kingdom


Haydn
Scena di Berenice


Mahler
Das Lied von der Erde
Kindertotenlieder
Symphony No. 2
Symphony No.3
Symphony No.8


Maw
Scenes and Arias


Mendelssohn
Elijah


Prokofiev
Alexander Nevsky


Ravel
Shéhérazade


Rubbra
Ode to the Queen


Stravinsky
Oedipus Rex
Les Noces


Requiem
Canticles


Tippett
A Child of our Time


Verdi
Requiem


Wagner
Wesendonck Lieder

The mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley as Kát’a’s mother-in-law, the prying, moralising Kabanicha, could have stolen the show herself, marvellously dressed in well-cut suit and French-twist wig, just one of many closely observed details...

The Guardian, February 2019

We see Kabanicha played by the splendid Susan Bickley, who makes her every inch the formidable figure that she should be

Opera Online, February 2019

Susan Bickley proved to be a superb instrument of temptation...
wonderfully naughty, knowing and game

Opera Now, August 2019

Downloads

All images

  • N
  • D
  • Y

Intermusica represents Susan Bickley worldwide

Julia Maynard
Deputy Chief Executive / Head of Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9902
jmaynard@intermusica.com

Natasha Worsley
Senior Artist Manager, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9922
nworsley@intermusica.com

Zara Fyfe-Williams (on maternity leave)
Artist Manager, Vocal & Opera



Billie Allin
Assistant Artist Manager, Vocal & Opera
+44 20 7608 9903
ballin@intermusica.com

If you have any queries, please fill in the form below, and we will be in touch soon

All artists

Chansonnier

HK Gruber

Counter-tenor

Tim Mead

Harpsichord

Richard Egarr

Piano accompanist

Roger Vignoles

Saxophone

Jess Gillam

Contralto

Avery Amereau