AGSM, Hon RAM
Lillian Watson joined the Academy’s vocal teaching staff in September 2007. She is considered an exceptional coloratura soprano. Her astonishing vocal agility has led to worldwide concert and opera engagements in repertory ranging from Mozart to Strauss and Britten.
Lillian Watson is internationally well known as Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail for which she has been acclaimed at Glyndebourne, Covent Garden, Hamburg and at the Salzburg Festival. She has also recorded the role with Nikolaus Harnoncourt for Teldec and appeared in three different television broadcasts of the opera including Glyndebourne, Salzburg and Covent Garden under Sir Georg Solti.
Her other interpretations include the title role in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen which she has performed and recorded for EMI under Simon Rattle; Despina in Cosi fan tutte which she has sung in Vienna, at Glyndebourne, Aix and at Covent Garden; and both Ismène and Aspasia in Mitridate which she has sung in Venice, Paris and London. She is a great interpreter of Richard Strauss’ demanding soprano repertory and her successes have included Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier under Jeffrey Tate.
In recent seasons she has appeared at Covent Garden in Mitridate and as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, at Welsh National Opera and Monte Carlo Opera in Massenet’s Cendrillon, in Robert Carsen’s acclaimed production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Tytania on tour in France and with the English National Opera and again as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera at Lausanne Opera. She has also sung Bella in Tippett’s Midsummer Marriage at the Royal Opera House, Fiakermilli in Strauss’ Arabella and Despina in Cosi fan tutte at Glyndebourne. Other engagements have included Cosi fan tutte at the Royal Opera House, Handel’s Rinaldo at Geneva Opera and Robert Carsen’s production of Figaro in Paris’ Théâtre des Champs Elysees and in Israel.
Recent highlights include Valencienne in Lehar’s The Merry Widow at Covent Garden, La Fée in Massenet’s Cendrillon in Toulouse and Antwerp, Fido in the Royal Opera House’s production of Paul Bunyan, the role of Tytania in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Rome Opera and a recording of Sydney Jones’ The Geisha for Hyperion records.
Other engagements in the last seasons have included a performance of Mozart’s Requiem in Rome, Noel Coward’s After the Ball at the Chicago Humanities Festival and Cosi fan tutte at the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Bernstein’s On the Town in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Paul Daniel, A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Opera Naples and Britten’s Spring Symphony at the BBC PROMS with Richard Hickox. On the operatic stage, Capriccio in Turin and Cosi fan tutte at Santa Fe Opera, Despina for ENO, Garsington Opera in a new production of Cosi fan tutte, directed by John Cox, and for the Lincoln Centre in New York, in a Jonathan Miller production.