Rebecca Evans

Introduction

Highlights in Rebecca Evans' calendar this season include the title role in a new production of Rodelinda at the English National Opera and a return to Covent Garden as Contessa Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro.

A regular guest at Covent Garden, her roles in the house have included Mimi La bohème, Pamina Die Zauberflöte and Despina Così fan tutte.  At the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich she has sung Ginevra Ariodante, Ilia Idomeneo and Susanna Le nozze di Figaro.  Elsewhere she has sung Despina at the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin; Ilia for the Netherlands Opera and for the Opera de Lausanne; the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen for Scottish Opera and Romilda Xerxes, Ginevra and Governess The Turn of the Screw for the English National Opera.  A favourite at the Welsh National Opera, her roles there have included Mimi, Contessa Almaviva, Liu Turandot, Pamina, Ilia and Gretel Hänsel und Gretel.

She has also established a major operatic career in America where she has sung Susanna and Zerlina for the Metropolitan Opera, New York; Susanna for the Santa Fe Opera; Pamina for the Lyric Opera of Chicago; and Zerlina, Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress and Adina L’Elisir d’Amore for San Francisco Opera.

Recent highlights on the concert platform include Beethoven's Symphony no. 9 with the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and Blomstedt and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Gardiner; The Apostles with the Hallé Orchestra and Elder and A Child of our Time with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and Rizzi.

She has appeared at the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Tanglewood and Ravinia Festivals and she is a regular guest at the BBC Proms. Her appearances also include the San Francisco Symphony with Tilson Thomas, the Boston Symphony Orchestra with Tate, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra with Mackerras, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra with Gardiner, the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra with Otaka and the Accademia Santa Cecilia with Pappano.

A Grammy Award winning artist, she has recorded prolifically.

Rebecca Evans is patron of several charities, among them Shelter Cymru, Ty Hapus and Music in Hospitals Cymru/Wales.

Please contact Keiron Cooke for an up-to-date biography.

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News & Features

Repertoire

OPERA REPERTOIRE

BIZET
Carmen (Micaëla)
Les pêcheurs de perles (Leila)

BRITTEN
Peter Grimes (Ellen Orford)
The Turn of the Screw (Governess)

DONIZETTI
Don Pasquale (Norina)
L’elisir d’amore (Adina)

HANDEL
Ariodante (Ginevra)
Rodelinda (title role)

HUMPERDINCK
Hänsel und Gretel (Gretel)

JANACEK
The Cunning Little Vixen (title role)

MOZART
Così fan tutte (Despina)
Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira)
Idomeneo (Ilia)
Le nozze di Figaro (Countess Almaviva)
Die Zauberflöte (Pamina)

POULENC
Dialogues des Carmélities (Blanche)

PUCCINI
La bohème (Mimi)
Gianni Schicchi (Nella)
La rondine (Magda)
Turandot (Liù)

SONDHIEM
Sweeney Todd (Johanna)

J. STRAUSS
Die Fledermaus (Rosalinde)

STRAVINSKY
The Rake's Progress (Anne Trulove)

VERDI
Falstaff (Alice Ford)

WAGNER
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Eva)

CONCERT REPERTOIRE

BACH
St. Matthew Passion
St. John Passion

BEETHOVEN
Ah ! perfido
Mass in C
Missa Solemnis
Symphony no. 9

BERLIOZ
Les nuits d'été

BERNSTEIN
Symphony no. 3

BRAHMS
Ein Deutsches Requiem

BRITTEN
Les Illuminations
A Spring Symphony

BRUCKNER
Te Deum

DELIUS
Mass of Life
Song of the High Hills

ELGAR
The Apostles
The Kingdom

FAURE
Requiem

FINZI
Dies natalis

GORECKI
Symphony No. 3

HANDEL
Messiah

HAYDN
Harmoniemesse
Heiligemesse
Die Jahreszeiten
Nelson Mass
Paukenmesse
Die Schöpfung
Die sieben letzten Worte unseres Erlösers am Kreuze

MAHLER
Symphony No. 2
Symphony No. 4

MENDELSSOHN
Elijah
Lobgesang
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Paulus

MOZART
Coronation Mass
Exsultate, Jubilate !
Mass in C minor (soprano 1)
Requiem

ORFF
Carmina Burana

POULENC
Gloria

RAVEL
Schéhérazade

ROSSINI
Stabat Mater

STRAUSS
Vier Letzte Lieder

TIPPETT
A Child of our Time

VAUGAHN WILLIAMS
Donna nobis pacem
Hodie
A Sea Symphony
Symphony no.3 (Pastoral)
Symphony no. 7 (Symphonia Antartica)

VERDI
Requiem 

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Press

Mozart

Le nozze di Figaro

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

But the outstanding performance was that of Rebecca Evans as the Countess, as lovely to behold as to hear.  Her purity of line and security in high-lying passages, called to mind some of the legendary Countesses, such as Margaret Price.  In 'Dove sono' her use of ornamentation was natural and discreet - it would have gladdened the heart of Charles Mackerras.  As for her expressive forgiveness of the Count at the end, it would have melted the stoniest heart. Michael Kennedy, Opera, July 2014

Handel

Rodelinda

English National Opera

Rebecca Evans (Rodelinda) and the countertenor Iestyn Davies (Bertarido) sing their duet with consummate skill.  Evans has everything the role requires... Hilary Finch, The Times, 03 March 2014
...it doesn’t happen often in opera that all the elements combine for total musical theatre that stuns: in this case, two great voices – Rebecca Evans’ soprano and Iestyn Davies’ countertenor – at what sounds like the peak of their stylish careers. David Nice, The Arts Desk, 01 March 2014
Rebecca Evans in the title role gives vent to her own desolation, it’s with a full-bloodedness turning to physical fury as she hurls jewels back at her would-be seducer Grimoaldo.  Michael Church, The Independent, 03 March 2014
...the world-class Welsh soprano [is given] a raft of great music which she sang with her customary brilliance. This is an opera where the diva has all the best tunes, and Evans seized them gratefully. Mark Valencia, What's on Stage, 01 March 2014
Musically it's tremendous...Evans but did extraordinary things with her ecstatic aria of relief on discovering that Bertarido is still alive. Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 01 March 2014
...excellent singing, particularly from Rebecca Evans in the title role and Iestyn Davies as the usurped King. Sam Smith, The Londonist, 01 March 2014
Rebecca Evans showed Rodelinda as a woman more than capable of asserting her rank and getting the better of Grimoaldo, as well as combining great tenderness in her expressions of fidelity to Bertarido, for instance in the ravishing ‘Ritorna, oh caro’. Curtis Rogers, Classical Source, March 2014
a cabaret of superb musical quality. Rebecca Evans and Iestyn Davies are just about perfection as Rodelinda and Bertarido, and there’s a performance of terrific personality and authority by John Mark Ainsley as the loopy Grimoaldo. Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 04 March 2014
I cannot gush enough about how utterly divine Rebecca Evans' Rodelinda was, what a rich tone and perfect technique she had, giving us some flawless high pianissimi to die for. If you want an example of the finest of British singing, this is it. Melinda Hughes, Spear's, 03 March 2014
Rebecca Evans’s Rodelinda, a dead ringer for Anna Magnani in Rossellini’s 1945 war drama Rome, Open City, emerges as tough and earthy rather than noble and pure. The voice has more colour in the chest register than the top, but Evans handles her arias with unfailing aplomb. Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 03 March 2014
Vital to Handel is quality singing, and you would have to search long and hard to find a Rodelinda as accomplished as Rebecca Evans or a Bertarido as finely-grained as Iestyn Davies: both are superb. George Hall, The Stage, 03 March 2014
The outstanding contribution was that of Rebecca Evans...this is a big voice, big enough to sing Verdi in a large house. As Rodelinda her singing was truly world class, deeply moving, a still point in the midst of chaos, utterly secure in the coloratura and delivering a truly ravishing sotto voce. It would be worth going to a performance purely to hear her sing. Miranda Jackson, Opera Britannia, 03 March 2014
Rebecca Evans delivered her great aria of relief at finding Bertarido alive with a wonderful pianissimo inwardness.  Helen Wallace, BBC Music Magazine, 04 March 2014
The supreme star of the show is Rodelinda, sung with ravishing tone and great intensity by Rebecca Evans.
Michael Tanner, The Spectator, 08 March 2014
Rebecca Evans excels in the title role, lavishing each aria with finely measured expression, now spitting outrage, now hushed in loving embrace. Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 09 March 2014
Rebecca Evans...rent the heart with her ravishingly sung Act III arias.  Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 09 March 2014
Rebecca Evans has always had drama in her blood and in this towering production she gives a performance of consummate singing and acting.  The feistiness of her Rodelinda is matched by the pathos and beauty of her singing as she delivers aria after demanding aria that run the gamut of emotions. Mike Smith, Walesonline, 09 March 2014
With a cast led by Rebecca Evans as Rodelinda and the magnificent countertenor Iestyn Davies warbling their way through Handel's gloriously challenging arias, the whole thing adds up to a thoroughly good and highly amusing night out. William Hartston, Daily Express, 06 March 2014
Rebecca Evans (Rodelinda) and Iestyn Davies (Bertarido) are both fine actors and world-class Handelians. Warwick Thompson, Metro, 04 March 2014
t...here was the wonder of Rodelinda herself, a female character to reckon with, wife, mother and queen, all of them noble - smart - and exquisitely personified by Welsh soprano Rebecca Evans. Candice Allen, Artsmeme, 17 March 2014
As sung by Rebecca Evans, her first aria bristled with defiance...her Rodelinda sounded feisty too, dispatching dramatic crescendos and fiery apeggios with panache....this was a complete and compelling assumption. Erica Jeal, Opera, May 2014

Elgar

The Apostles

Hallé Orchestra/Elder at the BBC Proms

The resplendent, no-nonsense soprano of Rebecca Evans – on superb form, as is she so often – perhaps had the best of Elgar's inspiration as the Angel Gabriel, her early address beautifully woven around the string textures so that her higher notes floated above it like a gentle epiphany. Guy Dammann, The Guardian, 12 August 2012
...there were things to savour in the performance. Soprano Rebecca Evans extracted Verdian grandeur from her parts as the Angel Gabriel and the Blessed Virgin. Michael Church, The Independent, 13 August 2012

Mozart

Le nozze di Figaro

Welsh National Opera

A world class Susanna herself, Rebecca Evans returned to her equally world-class depiction of Countess Almaviva. Evans gave us a master class in cleverly pacing this demanding role, and her assuredness of vocal technique and noble characterisation was a vocal feast. Her diminutive stature gave the Countess a frailty and a smattering of the milk of human kindness, but her vocal reserves are richly hued, especially in the ensembles and the fiendishly beautiful 'Dove sono'. Her inventive ornamentation flowed with pathos before allowing the finely paced last section of the aria to contain a steel edge, showing that this Countess would not continue to suffer her roving husband’s cruelty. This Countess had stature and nobility and Evans’ artistry is perfectly at home in this role. This was clearly her natural habitat! Bethan Dudley Fryar, Opera Britannia, March 2012
WNO favourite Rebecca Evans vividly bears the Countess’s sorrows. Geoff Brown, The Times, 27 February 2012
Vocally the stand-out performance was that of Rebecca Evans. She brought a weight and depth of emotion to a production which was fairly heavily slanted towards the humorous... It was in her that the rich humanity of the work found fullest expression; her performance of ‘Dovo sono’ would alone have justified a long trip to Cardiff. Glyn Pursglove, Seen and Heard, 28 February 2012
Evans's lustrous tone Rian Evans, Guardian, 27 February 2012
Rebecca Evans (Countess Almaviva) reprises her role with polish and assurance. Jenny Longhurst, Wales on Line, 27 February 2012

Mozart

Così fan tutte

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Vocally and dramatically, Rebecca Evans is a Despina of the highest possible class. George Hall, The Stage, 13 September 2010
Particularly delightful were [Thomas Allen's] scenes with his Despina, superbly realised by Ms. Evans.  The two had tremendous chemistry together; like Sir Thomas, she embodied her role with a completeness that seemed intuitive, offering myriad laughs as much during her immaculately delivered recitative as her delectable ‘Una donna a quindici anni’.  She sang the part as flawlessly as I have heard it done, her upper and lower register secure and her enunciation spot on.  She assumed the disguised roles of the surgeon and the notary with panache; as with Sir Thomas’s Don Alfonso, it is difficult to imagine a more convincing performance of Despina on offer. John E. de Wald, Opera Britannia, 14 September 2010
Thomas Allen's Alfonso and Rebecca Evans' Despina are impeccable. Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 13 September 2010

Rebecca Evans is [Thomas] Allen’s match as his wily gopher Despina. Evans makes the most of her disguises as a quack doctor and a fake judge, and she’s even more entertaining with her furtive slurps of Starbuck’s hot chocolate and her ability to sing through a mouthful of doughnut.

Mark Valencia, What's on Stage, 11 September 2010
Vocally, though, the main interest for me was in Rebecca Evans's ideal Despina. Combining a rich tone, an idiomatic sensitivity to the text and impeccable comic timing, her performance could scarcely be bettered. Her arias were both beautifully sung, and her participation in the ensembles was always noteworthy. Dominic McHugh, Musical Criticism, 11 September 2010
As the scheming Don Alfonso, Thomas Allen once again gives a supreme performance, wonderfully acted, sung and gestured. He is matched by Rebecca Evans as the sassy Despina; she is a joy to observe and listen to. For these two artists alone this production is worth seeing or returning to. Colin Anderson, The Opera Critic, 10 September 2010
Ideal for her role was Rebecca Evans as Alfonso’s co-conspirator Despina, another captivating singer with a wonderful gift for comedy. She reminded me of a younger brunette version of Barbara Windsor and she seemed to have as much fun as the quack doctor and notary, as we did in watching her. Jim Pritchard, Scene and Heard, September 2010
Evans’ Despina is the fruity voice of guiltfree pleasure.
Neil Fisher, The Times, 12 September 2010

Puccini

La bohème

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Rebecca Evans’ radiant Mimì... Hugo Shirley, Opera, March 2010
Rarely have I heard a more musically sophisticated performance than that given by the Polish tenor Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo and the Welsh soprano Rebecca Evans as Mimì.  Here was perfect phrasing and intonation, everything sung with real feeling, and a tenderness that was often deeply moving.  Evans, one of the leading Mozart sopranos of today moves up with ease for her first big Mimi. David Mellor, The Mail on Sunday, 17 January 2010
This current performance signaled Rebecca Evans in her ROH debut as Mimì, a tender, warm and open vocal performance, gently humorous and endearingly timid in character, and dying with dignity: very believable and moving. Colin Anderson, The Opera Critic, 10 July 2010
Mimì was sung by Rebecca Evans, marking her Royal Opera debut in the role…all her instincts were honed, as her account in the last two acts displayed, and it was her ability to show off a dramatic core that made her interpretation successful…Evans' Mimì, made this night more than worthwhile. Kevin Rogers, Classical Source, 11 January 2010

Britten

The Turn of the Screw

English National Opera

The cast could hardly be better. Rebecca Evans sings with sweet vulnerability as the naive young governess. Warwick Thompson, Bloomberg, 29 October 2009
Rebecca Evans's superbly judged, utterly humane Governess. Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 23 October 2009
Rebecca Evans, as the Governess driven to dangerous distraction, returned faultlessly to the role. Nick Breckenfield, What's On Stage, 23 October 2009
Rebecca Evans sang with scrupulous care and a degree of fine abandon as the Governess. Stephen Jay-Taylor, Opera Britannia, 24 October 2009
The outstanding Rebecca Evans. Richard Morrison, The Times, 26 October 2009
Rebecca Evans as the governess sings with power and clarity, charting her journey through hysteria and horror with detailed insight. Warwick Thompson, The Metro, 26 October 2009
Rebecca Evans sings the Governess almost too beautifully, and acts her with blazing conviction. Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 26 October 2009
As the Governess, Rebecca Evans has never sounded better, and I can't imagine the role being more engagingly or movingly performed. Nor could the singing be faulted: a move to a slightly heavier repertoire (Mimi, Liu, Countess Almaviva) has given Evans' voice an extra weight without losing any of the beauty, and the Governess sounds fully sung into her voice. The level of expression she achieves is striking, with numerous colours and textual nuances, while the sheer loveliness of the voice remains a pleasure every time I encounter her. Her first Covent Garden Mimi is something to look forward to in a couple of months' time. Dominic McHugh, Musical Criticism 26 October 2009
Rebecca Evans sings the Governess with much beauty. Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 27 October 2009
Rebecca Evans and Ann Murray, respectively the Governess and Mrs Grose, are a dual lynchpin of great voices, great characters and complete verbal clarity. Evans is heart-rending, lovelorn over her crush on the children's absent guardian and driven to distraction by her understanding of the children's fate. Jessica Duchen, The Independent, 29 October 2009
She is wonderfully warm of voice, right to the extreme high registers of the part [and] her diction is excellent. Alexander Campbell, Classical Source, October 2009
The role of the Governess is often described as Britten’s finest soprano role. It certainly sounded that way in a riveting, note-perfect performance from Rebecca Evans. David Mellor, The Mail on Sunday, 01 November 2009

Recordings