Full Biography

One of the most celebrated artists our time, in a career spanning 50 years, Rosalind Plowright has sung at the major international theatres such as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, New York, the Opéra National de Paris, the Bavarian State Opera, Munich, the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, the Arena di Verona, the Teatro Real, Madrid, and the Grand Théâtre de Genève. Acclaimed as one of the world’s greatest spinto sopranos, her colleagues included José Carreras, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. Conductors with whom she has worked include Claudio Abbado, Semyon Bychkov, Sylvain Cambreling, Mark Elder, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Michael Gielen, Carlo Maria Giulini, Hartmut Haenchen, Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Jurowski, Gustav Kuhn, Charles Mackerras, Riccardo Muti, Roger Norrington, Kazushi Ono, Seiji Ozawa, Giuseppe Patané, Antonio Pappano, David Parry, Jérémie Rhorer, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Ulf Schirmer, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Jeffrey Tate.

In 1999, she entered the mezzo-soprano repertoire, and has since sung roles such as Principessa di Bouillon Adriana Lecouvreur, La Madre Il Prigioniero, Kostelnicka Jenufa, Mila’s Mother Osud, Marfa Khovanschina, Mme de Croissy Dialogues des Carmélites, La Zia Principessa Suor  Angelica, Adelaide Arabella,  Klytämnestra Elektra,  Amneris Aïda  and Fricka Das Rheingold / Die Walküre.

Her solo recital disc La Belle Dame Sans Merci, a programme which she performed at the Buxton Festival, is available on Romeo Records, and her recordings further include Mary Stuart, Hansel and Gretel, Elijah, Aïda and Otello for Chandos, Mahler Symphony No. 2, La forza del destino and Il trovatore for DGG,Les contes d’Hoffmann for EMI and La vestale for Orfeo. Performances available on DVD include Andrea Chénier from both the Bregenz Festival and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Hänsel und Gretel from the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Dialogues des Carmélites from the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Suor Angelica from La Scala, Milan,  Il trovatore from the Arena di Verona and Not the Messiah with the Monty Python team.

TV appearances include Grace Vosper The House of Elliott and Hermione Harefield The Man who made Husbands Jealous. Theatre includes Dame Galina Isovitch in Two’s a Crowd.

Recent engagements have included Mrs Sedley Peter Grimes at the Theater an der Wien and the Opéra National de Lyon, Contessa di Coigny / Madelon Andrea Chénier at the Bregenz Festival, Contessa di Coigny Andrea Chénier for the Royal Opera, London, La Zia Principessa Suor Angelica for Opera Holland Park and Seattle Opera, Madame de Croissy Dialogues des Carmélites at the Dutch National Opera and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Herodias Salome for Portland Opera, Ulrica Un ballo in maschera for the Dorset Opera Festival and Mary Der fliegende Holländer at La Scala, Milan,  The Baroness Vanessa for Wexford Festival Opera, Contessa di Coigny Andrea Chénier at the Bayrerische Staatsoper,Mila’s Mother Osud and Mamma Lucia Cavalleria Rusticana for Opera North, Kabanicha Katya Kabanova at the Staatsoper Berlin, Klytämnestra Elektra at the National Theatre, Prague, The Countess The Queen of Spades for Opera Holland Park.

Rosalind Plowright made her Glyndebourne Festival debut in 2018 as The Old Baroness Vanessa. Engagements during 2018 /2019 Contessa di Coigny Andrea Chénier for the Royal Opera, London, Mila’s Mother Osud and Mamma Lucia Cavalleria Rusticana for Opera North, Mamma Lucia for Gothenburg Opera, Mme de la Haltière Cendrillon for Angers Nantes Opera and Ulrica Un ballo in maschera for Opera Holland Park. Last  season 2021/2022 included Mrs Sedley, Peter Grimes in Theater an der Wien, Vienna; Grandmother Buryjovka Jenufa for Den Norske Opera, Oslo,  Peter Grimes at La Fenice, and as The Old Baroness Vanessa for the USA Spoleto FestivalIn May 2024, Rosalind Plowright will revive Contessa di Coigny Andrea Chénier for the Royal Opera, London, and in 2025 she will appear in a new production of Cavalleria Rusticana as Mamma Lucia for the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich.

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