About Susanna

Operatic roles include Galatea/Acis and Galatea for Opera Theatre Company; Countess/Le nozze di Figaro for Longborough Festival Opera; and for English Touring Opera: Donna Anna/Don Giovanni, Juno/La Calisto, Eleonora/Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo, Bice/Pia de’ Tolomei, and 1st Priestess and Greek Woman/Iphygénie en Tauride. She was Count Gontran in Pop-Up Opera’s Une Éducation Manquée, Margery in the London Handel Festival’s performance of The Dragon of Wantley, and has also sung Armida/Rinaldo, Papagena/Magic Flute, and covered Romilda/Xerxes and Gismonda/Ottone for English Touring Opera.

As a duo, Susanna has performed nationwide with Matthew Schellhorn, including at Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St. James’s Church Piccadilly, St. Margaret’s Westminster, Peterborough Cathedral, and at Sidney Sussex, Cambridge. She very much enjoys interpreting contemporary music, leading to collaborations with Joseph Horovitz, Robert Saxton, Cecilia McDowall, Colin Riley, the Efthymiou sisters, Russell Hepplewhite, and Toby Young.

Susanna’s extensive oratorio and concert work includes a wide range of repertoire, under the batons of John Eliot Gardiner, Marin Alsop, Evelino Pidò, Laurence Cummings, Sian Edwards, Michael Rosewell and Nigel Short. She has performed at such venues as The Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, Cadogan Hall, The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, St. David’s Hall in Cardiff, the Wales Millennium Centre, Birmingham Symphony Hall, and St. James’s Church Piccadilly. Memorable performances as a soloist include a staged version of the St. John Passion for English Touring Opera, Tavener’s Veil of the Temple at Canterbury Cathedral (in the presence of the composer), Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony, Beethoven 9, Poulenc Gloria, Will Todd’s Mass in Blue and Mozart’s Requiem and C Minor Mass. Susanna has also appeared numerous times for the BBC – highlights include being interviewed in 2017 on Radio 3’s In Tune by Clemency Burton-Hill, and appearing on the soundtracks for two BBC dramas with music by Solomon Grey: JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, and The Last Post (available on iTunes).

Susanna gained an MA with Distinction from the Wales International Academy of Voice, under the tutelage of Dennis O’Neill and Nuccia Focile. Previously, she was a pupil of Alison Wells at Trinity College of Music, winning the English Song Competition, Wilfred Greenhouse Allt Prize and the Paul Simm Opera Prize. Susanna formerly studied flute as an Instrumental Scholar whilst completing her undergraduate degree at Magdalen College, Oxford. She is now mentored by Raymond Connell.

Having spent part of her childhood in Africa, Susanna has continued to enjoy exploring the globe – living and working in so many different parts of the world, as far as India and Brunei, has lead to the most extraordinary experiences and friendships. Whether scuba diving or night-time jungle trekking, rowing or playing rugby at college, undertaking vegetarian cooking lessons with a 95-year-old matriarch in Mumbai or embracing veganism, life has been a fascinating journey so far. Exotic episodes aside however, Susanna believes there’s still nothing better than a long walk by the river, a pint of local ale and a roaring log fire!

New CD Release

English soprano Susanna Fairbairn’s début song CD is now available on the Naxos label with duo partner Matthew Schellhorn: Songs of Geoffrey Bush and Joseph Horovitz.

Current and forthcoming engagements include covering Donna Anna in Don Giovanni for Opera North, performing the role of Pallas in Arne’s Judgement of Paris for the London Handel Festival, and Belinda in Dido and Aeneas for English Touring Opera.

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