Amanda Roocroft

Introduction

Amanda Roocroft has secured an international reputation as one of Britain's most exciting singers, in opera, concert, and in recital. She graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music and studies with Paul Farrington.

In concert she has appeared with leading orchestras throughout Europe and North America with conductors including 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 and Bernard Haitink.

She has performed at many of the world's leading opera houses and festivals including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Glyndebourne Festival, the English National Opera, the Welsh National Opera, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Netherlands Opera and the Salzburg Festival where her roles have included Fiordiligi/'Cosi fan Tutte', Countess/'Le Nozze di Figaro', Donna Elvira/'Don Giovanni', Desdemona/'Otello', Amelia/'Simon Boccanegra', Mimi/'La Boheme', Eva/'Die Meistersinger', Elisabetta/'Don Carlos', Cleopatra/'Giulio Cesare', Jenifer/'The Midsummer Marriage', Tatiana/'Eugene Onegin', Ellen Orford/'Peter Grimes' and the title roles in 'Madama Butterfly', 'Katya Kabanova', 'Jenufa' and 'The Makropulos Case'. She won the 2007 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera for her performance as Jenufa with the English National Opera.

A noted recitalist she has appeared at London’s Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Musikverein in Vienna, New York’s Lincoln Center, La Monnaie in Brussels and in Munich, Frankfurt, Paris, Valencia and Lisbon.

This is for information only and should not be reproduced. Please contact Kate Baylis for a full current biography.

Read More >

Tell me the truth about love

Released in early 2013, Tell me the truth about love charts the course of a love affair – in song – through the eyes of a young woman who begins by asking the universal question, Tell me the truth about love presents a programme of 19th and 20th century song.

The CD has been received wonderfully: it was the Disc of the Week in BBC Music Magazine and Alexander Bryce of The Scotsman summarised it beautifully:  “This beautifully packaged recording brings together songs around the conceit of a weekend love affair, beginning with an innocent young girl’s wonders and fears (the album’s title song, a setting by Benjamin Britten of a poem by WH Auden). The CD moves through a variety of emotions to its close: Britten’s version of the traditional Early One Morning.”

Please click here to read more.


Read More >

Press

ADES

Powder Her Face

English National Opera

Right in the centre of the evening, though, is Amanda Roocroft’s depiction of the Duchess herself, drawn with a surprising degree of sympathy, as well as superbly sung...
George Hall, The Stage, 3rd April 2014
We are left with virtuoso performances from four outstanding singers...Amanda Roocroft as a commanding Duchess... Michael Church, The Independent, 3rd April 2014
Amanda Roocroft makes a rare foray into this repertoire as the Duchess. Vocally it’s a impressive performance, giving her real stature and gravitas, and transforming the final scene into something almost Janáček-like - a tonal shift this impersonal space and Hill-Gibbins' alienation really does enhance. Alexandra Coghlan, The Arts Desk, 3rd April 2014
...Roocroft conveys this plight with moving force: the role suits her vocally, too, and she sings it with unfailing musicality. Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 3rd April 2014
The central role calls for an experienced soprano, here the ever-rewarding Amanda Roocroft...Her spellbinding performance reflected her fearlessness as an artist. Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 6th April 2014
Roocroft’s duchess – inspired casting – lends the part dignity and grand-operatic size. Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 4th April 2014

BRITTEN

Gloriana

Hamburgische Staatsoper

Amanda Roocroft is in riveting form as Elizabeth, never at a loss for regal bearing, whether vocally or visually...The wonderful prayer at the close of Act 1, with its suggestion of plainsong, is especially charged, and the queen's final largely spoken utterances, which touch on later events, also register strongly. George Loomis, The New York Times, 2nd April 2013

Tell me the truth about love

CD, Champs Hill Records

5*
This beautifully packaged recording brings together songs around the conceit of a weekend love affair, beginning with an innocent young girl’s wonders and fears (the album’s title song, a setting by Benjamin Britten of a poem by WH Auden). The CD moves through a variety of emotions to its close: Britten’s version of the traditional Early One Morning.
Alexander Bryce, The Scotsman, 17 February 2013
Half the fun in anthologies comes from seeing what has been chosen and how the programme has been sewn together...A pair of cabaret songs - Britten's setting of Auden's popular poem 'Tell me the truth about love' and Weill's 'Je ne t'aime pas', neither of them easy to pull off - fall early and late in what is an imaginative recital of art song. Most of the usual suspects are here but there is also a welcome thread of rarities from composers such as Boulanger, Marx and Dunhill.

How often do we come across Loewe's playful 'Ich kann nicht fassen' or Mompou's elegiac 'Damunt de tu, només les flors'? Even better is the grand setting of Verlaine's 'En Sourdine' by Poldowski's, an interesting contrast to Fauré's melodie. Roocroft is impassioned in outgoing songs such as Bridge's ecstatic 'Adoration', where accompanist Joseph Middleton is really able to let himself go...persuasively shaped and coloured. The choice of songs, though, is its own strong selling point. It would be nice to think that every weekend fling might be as rewarding as this one. Richard Fairman, Gramophone, June 2013
...Amanda Roocroft, whose intimate, emotionally versatile singing is always engaging... Hilary Finch, BBC Music Magazine, September 2013

R.STRAUSS

Der Rosenkavalier

English National Opera

As Octavian's mature lover the Marschallin, Amanda Roocroft's silvery tone emanates a distinctive glow, perfectly absorbed into a realisation that combines depth of feeling with self-knowledge.
George Hall, The Guardian, 2nd February 2012
Amanda Roocroft as the Feldmarschallin is at the height of her game, her voice radiating out with a power that never sacrifices any of the sensitivity that is required when lamenting lost youth and love. 
Sam Smith, Londonist.com, 31st January 2012
This marvellous revival, cast at International strength and brilliantly conducted by Edward Gardner, is full of the kind of human observation that reminds one just how finely crafted this piece is. It takes actors of the calibre of Sarah Connolly and Amanda Roocroft to suspend our disbelief and win our hearts in that crucial first act. They can and did, through their truthfulness, convince us that the Marschallin and her illicit cavalier were flesh and blood and that the social conventions of a dying era – chillingly conveyed in the decaying facades of McVicar’s set – were, as the Marschallin herself put it, “fading like mists and dreams”.With Roocroft’s Marschallin one truly felt that she had been “conditioned” to be old before her time and that Connolly’s superbly rangy and virile Octavian was the only person in the universe who refused to see it that way. Connolly is now peerless in the role and Roocroft, new to hers, gives us the woman beyond the aristocrat duly breaking our hearts in the final moments of the first act where, alone once more, she clings to the pillow where the smell of her departed lover still remains.


Edward Seckerson, The Independent, 29th January 2012
Amanda Roocroft, new to the role, looks and sounds not a day older than the character’s 33 years...But the very simplicity, even delicate fragility of her portrayal...makes this a moving study of a woman both young and old enough to understand the pain of mortality. 
Donald Cooper, The Times, 30th January 2012
...hers is a very likeable Marschallin, and the melancholy musings in the first act were sung with captivating warmth and sincerity.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 3rd February 2012

JANACEK

Katya Kabanova

Welsh National Opera

The nearly unbelievable acting and singing of the...leading female role...Amanda Roocroft as Katya was of the highest standard. 
Robert J. Farr, Seen&Heard International, 9th November 2011
In the title role, Amanda Roocroft paces herself carefully so that the searing emotion of Janácek's characterisation of the young Katya – trapped in a wholly oppressive environment and mercilessly bullied by her mother-in-law, the Kabanicha – emerged steadily over the course of the evening. Roocroft is at her impassioned best in the soliloquy where she has already decided to commit suicide, always implied as the devastating yet only possible outcome of the first adulterous kiss.
Rian Evans, The Guardian, 9th October 2011

JANACEK

Jenufa

DVD

Amanda Roocroft has won laurels as Jenufa in various stage productions and comes across as a deeply sincere performer here...
Richard Fairman, Gramophone, November 2011
Roocroft plays a Jenufa who moves believably from innocent girl to disillusioned woman. When Kostelnicka informs Jenufa of the baby's death, Roocroft registers the news with a look of devastated incomprehension that is shattering to witness....the role is suung beautifully indeed, with much velvety tone and a treasureable expressive directness.

Roger Pines, International Record Review, October 2011

Recital

Wigmore Hall

Roocroft...was on splendid vocal form...It was a repertoire much suited to Roocroft's plush tone and non-interventionist delivery. She has the right whiff of theatricality for Liszt. His adherents, Cornelius and Adolf Jensen, deal in long chromatic lines where her voice ebbed and flowed sumptuously. The smile in her tone...she was delightful in Sonntag above all. 
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 4th March 2011
...there’s no doubt that Roocroft is a genuine communicator, playing it all straight from the heart. You feel that singing is a joy for her rather than a duty, and that counts for a lot. It was good to hear her in such healthy and radiant voice, rich in colour and true in intonation...Roocroft shone in the Gothic nightmare of 'Ich habe ihn im Schlafe’. The highlight of a Liszt group was 'Die drei Zigeuner’, where Roocroft made the drama instantly vivid through a spirited dialogue with Martineau...the folkish simplicity of 'Herbstgefühl’ and 'Wiegenlied’ allowed Roocroft to do what she does best – charm the audience and make it smile. 
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 4th March 2011

Recordings