A former winner of the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award, soprano Emma Bell has in recent seasons developed her repertoire, moving from the Mozart heroines, with which she established her career, to the key jugendlich-dramatisch roles of Wagner and Beethoven. Recent highlights include her house debut at Bayerische Staatsoper as Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) under Kirill Petrenko, performances as Freia (Das Rheingold) with the Hallé Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder, as Madame Lidoine (Dialogues des Carmélites) at Staatsoper Hamburg under Kent Nagano and as Leonore (Fidelio) at Oper Köln under Alexander Rumpf.
In 2019/20 appearances include a new production of Fidelio at the Glyndebourne Festival (Robin Ticciati), Ellen Orford (Peter Grimes) at Theater Basel (Kristiina Poska) and War Requiem with Orchestre de Paris at the Edinburgh International Festival under the baton of Daniel Harding.
A regular presence on the stage of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Bell's most recent appearances there have included Eva, Madame Lidoine and her highly acclaimed Elisabeth in Tannhäuser of which The Times wrote "her timbre has always been unique but now Bell shows so much more: perfect intonation, tenderness, subtle variation, compelling acting". She returned to the role of Elisabeth last season at both the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Sebastian Weigle) and at the Bayerische Staatsoper (Simone Young).
A wide and varied early career has taken Bell to Teatro alla Scala as Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress), Elettra (Idomeneo) and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni); to Teatro Real Madrid as the Governess (Turn of the Screw) and Elettra; to the Metropolitan Opera as Contessa Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro) and Donna Elvira; and to Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw). In more recent seasons, Bell has appeared as as Elsa (Lohengrin) for Staatsoper Hamburg (Simone Young), as Strauss’ Arabella at Oper Köln (Stefan Soltesz), as Eva for Opernhaus Zürich (Sebastian Weigle), and as the Governess for Staatsoper Berlin (Ivor Bolton). Her return to Glyndebourne in 2018 for the title role in Keith Warner’s celebrated production of Vanessa was met with critical acclaim, the Guardian writing “Bell gives one of her finest performances to date, beautifully acted, her voice soaring with elation and anguish”.
An engaging concert performer, Emma Bell has enjoyed a close collaboration with Sir Antonio Pappano on works such as Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Britten’s War Requiem with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, and both Rossini’s Stabat Mater and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. She has recently added soprano I in Mahler’s mighty Symphony No.8 to her repertoire in performance with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra under Lan Shui. In repertoire including the core works of Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 and Wesendonck Lieder, Bell has appeared with the Gothenburg Symphony and Kent Nagano, the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski, and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under Gianandrea Noseda to name but a few.
You can see Emma Bell in action at The Trusts Community Foundation Opera in Concert - Britten's Peter Grimes on Friday 9 October.