© Genevieve Girling
English soprano Susanna Fairbairn is a former Opera Awards Foundation bursary recipient and Park Lane Group Young Artist, and prizewinner of the Handel Singing Competition and Emmy Destinn Young Singers Awards. At Trinity College of Music in London she won the English Song Competition, Wilfred Greenhouse Allt Prize and Paul Simm Opera Prize. She also studied voice at the Wales International Academy of Voice in Cardiff, and flute at Magdalen College, Oxford – as the first female Instrumental Scholar in the college’s c.550-year history.
Future engagements include the role of Elvida in the world première of Handel’s Fernando, re di Castiglia with Opera Settecento at the London Handel Festival and Händel-Festspiele, Halle.
Operatic roles include Agathe Wolfsschlucht (Deutsche Oper Berlin Tischlerei); Bess Foster Georgiana (Buxton International Opera Festival); Dido Dido & Aeneas (Nordland Music Festival, Norway); Galatea Acis & Galatea (Opera Theatre Company, Ireland); Countess Le nozze di Figaro (Longborough Festival Opera); Donna Elvira Don Giovanni (Diva Opera UK/France/Jersey Tour); Donna Anna Don Giovanni, Belinda Dido & Aeneas, Eleonora Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo, and Juno La Calisto (English Touring Opera); and Crobyle Thaïs (Chelsea Opera Group). She has also understudied Donna Anna for Opera North.
Significant appearances on the concert platform have included Verdi’s Requiem in Coventry Cathedral for Remembrance Day; the UK première of Mendelssohn’s arrangement of Handel’s Israel in Ägypten with Philharmonia Orchestra at the Three Choirs Festival; Schumann with The Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig conducted by John Eliot Gardiner; a performance of Tavener’s epic Veil of the Temple in Canterbury Cathedral in the composer’s presence; and a live-streamed semi-staged performance of Korngold’s Die tote Stadt with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra from the National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland. Susanna has performed recitals at major venues including Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, and her début solo CD, ‘Songs of Geoffrey Bush and Joseph Horovitz’, is available on Naxos.
Bess Foster / Georgiana / Buxton International Festival / 2019
“Susanna Fairbairn was plaintive and sensuous as Bess, the shared lover of Duke and Duchess alike.”
(The Arts Desk)
“Susanna Fairbairn exudes warmth and compassion as her beloved companion, Bess.”
“Samantha Clarke and Susanna Fairbairn sparkle in their roles, balanced by Benjamin Hulett’s well-judged Duke.”
The Judgment of Paris / Dutton Epoch / 2019 – CD REVIEW
“Susanna Fairbairn, meanwhile, delivers Pallas’s big aria with majestic aplomb.”
“The three rival goddesses are vividly characterised by both composer and singers, but the standouts for me were Susanna Fairbairn’s imperious ‘The glorious voice of war’ (capped with a rock-solid high D)…”
(Presto Classical Editor’s Choice)
Galatea / Acis & Galatea / Opera Theatre Company / 2017
“Within this setting, bartender Galatea (the wonderfully feisty Susanna Fairbairn) presides. Her richly expressive voice finds an excellent foil in the polished tone of tenor Eamonn Mulhall (Acis)”