Susan is one of the world’s most sought-after dramatic sopranos
She has appeared as Wagner’s Brünnhilde at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, Opera Australia, the New National Theatre, Tokyo, Teatro de São Carlos Lisbon, with the Canadian Opera Company, at Teatro La Fenice and at Opéra de Lyon. She has performed the role of Isolde in London, Frankfurt, Verona, Leeds and Rouen.
Above all, the role of Richard Strauss’s Elektra has brought Susan substantial international acclaim and collaborations with some of the world’s leading conductors including Bychkov, Ozawa, Elder and de Waart; and debuts at La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, in Dresden, Stuttgart, Hong Kong, Florence (Maggio Musicale), Théâtre du Capitole, and with Washington National Opera. She received the Royal Philharmonic Society’s (singer) award in 2009 for her performances of Elektra at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Other roles have included Marie in Wozzeck for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under Daniel Harding, Female Chorus (The Rape of Lucretia) for Bayerische Staatsoper, Katerina Ismailova (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) for Opera Australia, the title roles in Salome and Fidelio under Edo de Waart in Hong Kong, Emilia Marty (Věc Makropulos) for Oper Frankfurt, and in 2013 she sang the role of Elizabeth I in Britten’s Gloriana at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In 2014 she made a role debut as Jane Wingrave in Britten’s Owen Wingrave at both Aldeburgh and Edinburgh Festivals.
Susan’s concert work has been vast and diverse, and has included Mahler’s Eighth Symphony under Sir Simon Rattle and Hänsel und Gretel under Sir Mark Elder with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Strauss’s Four Last Songs with National Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra under Edo de Waart; Schoenberg’s Erwartung with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under David Robertson; and the Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra, and also with Zubin Mehta and the Orchestra of the Bayerische Staatsoper. Susan made her official Wigmore Hall recital debut in 2005 and returns there frequently, her Edinburgh International Festival debut in 2008 in recital with Malcolm Martineau, and in 2009 was the first artist to give a vocal recital at the newly opened Melbourne Recital Centre. She returned there in August 2013 and also appeared in the same recital programme at the Sydney Opera House.
Her discography includes Chausson’s Le roi Arthus with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein for Telarc; Albert Herring with the City of London Sinfonia under Richard Hickox; Hindemith’s Sancta Susanna with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Yan Pascal Tortelier; and the role of Magda Sorel in Menotti’s The Consul with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra under Richard Hickox, all for Chandos. Her recital disc with pianist Malcolm Martineau (which includes Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, and Prokofiev’s Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova) was released by Avie in February 2007 and was listed as BBC Music Choice in BBC Music Magazine. Her recording of the title role in Salome with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Sir Charles Mackerras was released in the autumn of 2008 on Chandos.
She was appointed CBE in the Queen’s 2014 Birthday Honours list and an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the University of Manchester, also in 2014.