Amanda Roocroft: Soprano
Amanda Roocroft graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 1990. She quickly made an international reputation as one of Britain’s most exciting singers, in opera, concert, and recital, winning The Royal Philharmonic Society Music award for an operatic debut and a Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians. She enjoyed a close relationship with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival, the English National Opera, the Welsh National Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper, and her leading roles in these houses have ranged from Handel to Wagner. She has also sung at The Metropolitan Opera House New York, Houston, Amsterdam, Berlin, Salzburg, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris. She has earned a reputation for being a singing actress and in 2007 she was awarded the Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera for her portrayal of Jenufa at ENO.
Amanda made her professional recital debut in September 1989 at the Aix-en-Provence Festival and her professional operatic debut in 1990 as Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier with Welsh National Opera. House debuts followed at London’s Royal Opera House (as Pamina) and Glyndebourne Festival Opera (as Fiordiligi) in 1991, and the Bavarian State Opera (Fiordiligi) and the English National Opera (as Ginevra in Handel’s Ariodante) in 1993. In 1994 she was the subject of a Granada Television documentary Amanda Roocroft: Opera’s Rising Star. The film, directed by Colin Bell, chronicled the first seven years of her career, beginning with her days as a student and ending with her solo recording debut for EMI Records.
Favourite roles include Fiordiligi/Cosi fan Tutte, Countess/Le Nozze di Figaro, Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni, Cleopatra/Giulio Cesare, Desdemona/Otello, Amelia/Simon Boccanegra, Mimi/La Boheme, Eva/Die Meistersinger, Ellen/Peter Grimes, Tatiana/Eugene Onegin, Giulietta/I Capuleti e i Montecchi and the title roles in Madama Butterfly, Katya Kabanova and Jenůfa.
She has appeared with leading orchestras throughout Europe and North America with conductors including Sir Georg Solti, Sir Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, Mariss Jansons, Ivor Bolton, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Daniele Gatti, Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Charles Mackerras, Valery Gergiev, Sir Mark Elder, Antonio Pappano and Bernard Haitink. Highlights include her New York Philharmonic debut; Verdi Requiem with Chailly in Milan; regular appearances at the BBC Proms in London, and at the Edinburgh International Festival; a European tour with the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester; and Ellen Orford/Peter Grimes in concert with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle.
Recital engagements have included London’s Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Musikverein in Vienna, New York’s Lincoln Center, La Monnaie in Brussels, as well as appearances in Munich, Frankfurt, Paris, Valencia and Lisbon.
Amanda’s other roles in the latter part of her career have included Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes, the Duchess in Powder Her Face, Emilia Marty in The Makropulos Case, Queen Elizabeth I in Gloriana and the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier. She sang Madam Larina from Eugene Onegin at Opera Holland Park in 2022.
Amanda is a professor of vocal studies at Royal College of Music and the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Amanda is passionate about teaching and believes in developing young singers to become unique, well-rounded artists through use of a solid technique and vivid imagination.
As well as teaching at RCM Amanda has given masterclasses at RNCM, GSMD, Pembroke College Cambridge, DIT Dublin, and the Royal Opera House for the Jette Parker Artists Programme. She has been visiting tutor on the Sammling Foundation, Abbingdon summer school, Jackdaws, Leeds Lieder Festival and Artslab. Amanda runs a song course with Joseph Middleton during the summer in France.
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Opera Caledonia engagements: Vocal Studio Course Faculty member 2024.