Rosalind Plowright


One of the most celebrated artists of our time, in a career spanning 40 years Rosalind Plowright has sung at the greatest international opera houses such as the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Paris Opera, Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Grand Theatre de Genève, and at the Arena di Verona. She was acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest spinto sopranos in a repertoire which included the title roles in Norma, Medée, Alceste, Aida, Tosca, La Gioconda, Manon Lescaut, Ariadne auf Naxos and Die Liebe der Danae, as well as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Vitellia in La Clemenza di Tito, Abigaille in Nabucco, Leonora in Il Trovatore, Elisabetta in Don Carlos, Desdemona in Otello, and Maddalena in Andrea Chenier.

Her colleagues include all the most praised operatic stars of the time. Her American debut was alongside Jose Carreras in a concert at the Philadelphia Orchestra under Riccardo Muti and they also sang Andrea Chenier at Covent Garden and recorded La Forza del Destino for Deutsche Grammophon (which won best opera recording from Gramophone). With Placido Domingo she has performed Il Trovatore at Covent Garden and recorded the opera with him for Deutsche Grammophon for which she was personally awarded the Prix Fondation Fanny Heldy. With Luciano Pavarotti she performed Aida at Covent Garden and a gala concert for 25,000 at the Arena of Verona. Among the many conductors with whom she has worked are Carlo Maria Giulini, Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Giuseppe Sinopli, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Bernard Haitink, Antonio Pappano, Michael Gielen, Sylvain Cambreling, Mark Elder, Roger Norrington, Gustav Kuhn, Seiji Ozawa, Semyon Bychkov and Giuseppe Patane.

Plowright entered the dramatic mezzo repertoire in 1999 with roles such as Amneris in Aida, the Principessa in Adriana Lecouvreur, the Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica and Klytämnestra in Elektra and Fricka in the Royal Opera House’s new Ring between 2004-2007. In 2010 she sang her first Madame de Croissy in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmelites at the Stuttgart Opera, and again in 2013 at the Theatre des Champs Elysées in Paris. In 2012 she returned to the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in her first performances of Herodias in Salome and appeared as Mary in Der fliegende Holländer at La Scala, Milan. Plowright won special praise in a role which is sung by both sopranos and mezzo sopranos, the Kostelnicka in Janacek’s Jenufa. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in this role.

Her many recordings also include Mary Stuart, Otello, Aida and Hansel & Gretel (which won the Grammy for best recording) all for the Opera in English series for Chandos; Elijah for Chandos, La Vestale for Orfeo, Contes d’Hoffmann for EMI and Mahler 2nd Symphony for Deutsche Grammophon. Her DVD’s include her performances of Il Trovatore from Verona, Suor Angelica from La Scala, Hansel & Gretel from the Metropolitan Opera, Dialogues des Carmelites from the Théatre des Champs Elysées and Not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy with the Monty Python team at the Royal Albert hall. In 2014 she released her first recital CD, La Belle Dame sans Merci, a collection of 26 songs in 6 languages from 10 composers.

On TV she appeared in two episodes of “House of Elliott” and “The Man who made Husbands Jealous,” the adaptation of Jilly Coopers novel. She helped develop and starred in “Two’s a Crowd” a musical comedy which received five star reviews and in 2009 joined with the Monty Python team in Eric Idle and John Du Prez oratorio based on “Life of Brian” Not the Messiah – He’s a Very Naughty Boy.

Forthcoming engagements include Ulrica in Ballo in Maschera for Winslow Hall, La Contessa di Coigny in Andrea Chenier for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana and Mila’s Mother in Osud both for Opera North and Kabanicha, Katja Kabanova in Berlin with Simon Rattle.

Rosalind Plowright was awarded the OBE in 2007 for her services to music.