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Susanna Fairbairn

English soprano Susanna Fairbairn’s recent release of her début song CD is now available on the Naxos label with duo partner Matthew Schellhorn: Songs of Geoffrey Bush and Joseph Horovitz. Her portrayal of Galatea in Opera Theatre Company’s production of Acis and Galatea is currently available to stream on The Opera Platform at Susanna’s most recent appearance was with Pop-Up Opera as Count Gontran in Chabrier’s comic opera Une Education Manquée for the Grimeborn and Holt Festivals.

2017 has seen Susanna give several world premieres, most recently including Russell Hepplewhite’s Two or Three Angels in Highgate, London. Other recent, notable appearances have included a critically acclaimed semi-staged St. John Passion with English Touring Opera, in which the soloists performed the entire work from memory and shared the role of the Evangelist.

Operatic roles include Galatea/Acis and Galatea for Opera Theatre Company; Countess/Le nozze di Figaro for Longborough Festival Opera; and for English Touring Opera, Donna Anna/Don Giovanni, Juno/La Calisto, Eleonora/Il furioso all’isola di San Domingo, Bice/Pia de’ Tolomei, and 1st Priestess and Greek Woman/Iphygénie en Tauride. She was Margery in the London Handel Festival’s performance of The Dragon of Wantley, and has also sung Papagena/Magic Flute, Armida/Rinaldo, and covered Romilda/Xerxes and Gismonda/Ottone for English Touring Opera. Susanna looks forward to her début with Opera North in 2018, covering the role of Donna Anna/Don Giovanni.

As a duo, Susanna has performed nationwide with Matthew Schellhorn, including at Wigmore Hall, Purcell Room, St. James’s, Piccadilly, St. Margaret’s, Westminster, Peterborough Cathedral, and at Sidney Sussex, Cambridge. She very much enjoys interpreting contemporary music, leading to collaborations with Joseph Horovitz, Robert Saxton, Cecilia McDowall, Colin Riley, the Efthymiou sisters, Russell Hepplewhite, and Toby Young.

Susanna’s extensive solo oratorio and concert repertoire includes a wide range of repertoire. Previous significant solo engagements have included Beethoven Symphony No. 9; Bruckner Te Deum; Messiah in Oslo and Madrid; Beethoven’s great concert aria Ah! perfido; Schumann with The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Israel in Egypt at Cadogan Hall and covering Missa Solemnis on an international tour of Beethoven, all with John Eliot Gardiner; Messiah at the Wales Millennium Centre;St. John Passion in Birmingham Symphony Hall; Tavener Veil of the Temple in Canterbury Cathedral in the composer’s presence; Will Todd Mass in Blue; Dvořák Stabat Mater; Finzi Dies Natalis; Poulenc Gloria; Orff Carmina Burana; Mozart C Minor Mass at the Trinity College of Music Sir Charles Mackerras Memorial Concert conducted by Sian Edwards; and two solo appearances on BBC One – O Holy Night on Christmas Day 2010 and The One Show in May 2014. She was also heard on the soundtrack of the BBC adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, now available as a track on iTunes.

Susanna gained an MA with Distinction from the Wales International Academy of Voice, under the tutelage of Dennis O’Neill and Nuccia Focile. Previously, she was a pupil of Alison Wells at Trinity College of Music, winning the English Song Competition, Wilfred Greenhouse Allt Prize and the Paul Simm Opera Prize. Susanna formerly studied flute as an Instrumental Scholar whilst completing her undergraduate degree at Magdalen College, Oxford. She is now mentored by Raymond Connell.

Susanna’s also a fan of India, scuba diving, drinking local ale, walking, and her red Brompton bike (Bertie). Her favourite food used to be taramasalata, but her recent move towards vegetarianism forces her to find a more ethical alternative … suggestions please! For more information, please visit

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Giunone/La Calisto/English Touring Opera

Mark Valencia, What’s On Stage    
‘There are splendid turns too, from Susanna Fairbairn as a harridan of a Giunone.’

Nancy Connolly, Bath Chronicle
‘Susanna Fairbairn is a stalwart Giunone, and she sings and plays the part with great and wanted gusto.’

George Hall, The Stage
‘There’s some fine singing, especially from Susanna Fairbairn’s angry Juno’

Dominic Lowe,
‘Susanna Fairbairn injected her soprano with a suitable level of wrathful menace as Giunone.’

"And, best of all, [Susanna] Fairbairn celebrated Judith Weir’s 60th birthday year in an outstanding performance of her unaccompanied “grand opera”, King Harald’s Saga — still a thrilling tour de force of vocal and verbal imagination by the then 25-year-old composer." (Hilary Finch, The Times, 6 June 2014)



News featuring Susanna Fairbairn

Susanna Fairbairn. Looking desperately glamorous even when lying down....

A new review from The Idle Woman of the London Handel... READ MORE

Posted on April 20th 2018

New Gramophone review for Susanna Fairbairn

There's a great new review from Gramophone for... READ MORE

Posted on October 13th 2017

Susanna Fairbairn on BBC 1 new drama soundtrack

Susanna Fairbairn sings on the soundtrack for the new... READ MORE

Posted on September 29th 2017

Susanna Fairbairn - new CD released on Naxos label

Susanna Fairbairn has just released a CD of songs by... READ MORE

Posted on July 24th 2017

Fine singing...from Susanna Fairbairn: with English Touring Opera

Susanna Fairbairn is again on the road with English... READ MORE

Posted on October 18th 2016

Susanna Fairbairn: 'There is vivid support from Susanna Fairbairn (Priestess)' Anna Picard in The Times

Susanna Fairbairn has begun an extended series of... READ MORE

Posted on March 9th 2016

Beethoven and Bruckner in Oxford on Saturday - Susanna Fairbairn, Kate Symonds-Joy, Paul Austin Kelly, Alan Fairs

This Saturday Oxford Harmonic Society under Robert... READ MORE

Posted on November 25th 2015

Susanna Fairbairn wins Emmy Destin Dvorak Society prize

Soprano Susanna Fairbairn has won the Dvořák Society... READ MORE

Posted on October 28th 2015

Messiah in Norway - Susanna Fairbairn, Esther Brazil, Ben Thapa, Alex Ashworth

For the past few years the Anglophile conductor Svein... READ MORE

Posted on October 21st 2015

Susanna Fairbairn makes her ROH debut

Tonight, 14 September 2015, Susanna Fairbairn makes... READ MORE

Posted on September 14th 2015

York Elijah - review quoted in Classical Music newsletter

James Whittle of York Press was fulsome in his praise... READ MORE

Posted on May 27th 2015

Susanna Fairbairn sings Messiaen Poèmes pour Mi

Susanna Fairbairn sings Messiaen's Poèmes pour Mi in... READ MORE

Posted on April 22nd 2015

New reviews for Susanna Fairbairn - London Handel Festival 2015

Susanna Fairbairn was Margery in Lampe's The Dragon... READ MORE

Posted on April 22nd 2015