Emma Bell
Soprano

“the British soprano rockets herself into the Wagnerian premiere league with this performance. Her timbre has always been unique – imagine Kathleen Ferrier up an octave” (Richard Morrison, The Times, April 2016)

Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Catherine Znak +44 (0)20 3725 9105

Biography

From a prestigious early career built predominantly on Mozart’s leading ladies, former Kathleen Ferrier Award-winner Emma Bell has in recent years debuted a number of jugendlich-dramatisch roles including Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Elsa (Lohengrin) and Elisabeth (Tannhäuser).  A recent role debut as Leonore (Fidelio) has led to several other productions and marked her return to Oper Köln last season, alongside her debut at Bayerische Staatsoper as Eva (Kirill Petrenko), performances as Madame Lidoine at Staatsoper Hamburg (Kent Nagano) and Freia (Das Rheingold) in concert with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra.

From a prestigious early career built predominantly on Mozart’s leading ladies, former Kathleen Ferrier Award-winner Emma Bell has in recent years debuted a number of jugendlich-dramatisch roles including Eva (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Elsa (Lohengrin) and Elisabeth (Tannhäuser).  A recent role debut as Leonore (Fidelio) has led to several other productions and marked her return to Oper Köln last season, alongside her debut at Bayerische Staatsoper as Eva (Kirill Petrenko), performances as Madame Lidoine at Staatsoper Hamburg (Kent Nagano) and Freia (Das Rheingold) in concert with Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra. 

Emma Bell's 2017/18 season includes Venus and Elisabeth (Tannhäuser) at Deutsche Oper Berlin under Michael Boder, and a return to Glyndebourne Festival Opera with her role debut in the UK premiere of Vanessa. In concert, she takes on soprano I in Mahler’s Symphony No.8 with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra conducted by Lan Shui.

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Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Catherine Znak +44 (0)20 3725 9105

Reviews

“English soprano Emma Bell's Governess sings ravishingly, beautifully molding and coloring every phrase, but also vividly portraying her battle with demons, whether internal or external.” (Dallas Morning News, March 2017)

“The response of Emma Bell’s Ludmila was genuinely luminous; her tone was pristine, heroic and swelled with the exultation of one who has genuinely seen the light.” (Guardian, May 2016)

“Sung with poise and sincerity by Emma Bell, Ludmila emerges as a Victorian heroine.”  (Anna Picard, The Times, May 2016)

“English soprano Emma Bell's Governess sings ravishingly, beautifully molding and coloring every phrase, but also vividly portraying her battle with demons, whether internal or external.” (Dallas Morning News, March 2017)

“The response of Emma Bell’s Ludmila was genuinely luminous; her tone was pristine, heroic and swelled with the exultation of one who has genuinely seen the light.” (Guardian, May 2016)

“Sung with poise and sincerity by Emma Bell, Ludmila emerges as a Victorian heroine.” (Anna Picard, The Times, May 2016)

“That woman, Elisabeth, is played by Emma Bell and the British soprano rockets herself into the Wagnerian premiere league with this performance. Her timbre has always been unique – imagine Kathleen Ferrier up an octave – but now Bell shows so much more: perfect intonation, tenderness, subtle variation, compelling acting.” (Richard Morrison, The Times, April 2016)

“Emma Bell looked wonderful, acted sensitively and was at her impassioned best in the latter half of Act 2. The audience acclaimed her with special warmth.” (Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph, April 2016)

“Emma Bell’s Elisabeth emerged as a fully convincing stage presence (somehow both formidable and vulnerable as the bride-in-waiting)…her quiet singing in Act 3 was particularly enchanting.” (Opera Magazine, July 2016)

“Emma Bell makes a rich-toned, nobly assertive Elisabeth.” (Tim Ashley, Guardian, April 2016)

“Emma Bell was the ideal Elisabeth…Beautiful to look at, a radiant stage presence, passionate and poignant, she was by far the star of the show. She made one of the most exciting entrances I have seen, and her defence of her wayward lover had all the required power and intensity. This was one of the great Wagnerian assumptions at the Royal Opera in recent years.” (Spectator, May 2016)

“Emma Bell’s Elisabeth is commandingly expressive.” (Independent, April 2016)

“Emma Bell is not only warm and secure in tone as Elisabeth, but tingling with sensuality.” (Evening Standard, April 2016)

“a sizeable voice and sang the demanding role fearlessly.” (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, February 2015)

“The role’s fierce musical glories (superbly rendered by the soprano Emma Bell” (The New Yorker, February 2015)

“It is almost invidious to single out individual performances in what was an impressive collective achievement, but Emma Bell deserves pride of place for her overwhelming performance as the Governess, an assumption that by vocal and dramatic means brought the character to frightening life.” (Opera Magazine, February 2015)

“As the governess, Emma Bell is superbly equivocal, neurotic but never hysterical.” (Shirley Apthorp, Financial Times, November 2014)

“Emma Bell was feaful as the mean, rejected Electra, who acquitted herself brilliantly in her furious aria” (Buenos Aires Herald, July 2014)

“Emma Bell’s voluptuous-sounding New Prioress makes an imposing centrepiece in Acts Two and Three.” (Andrew Clark, Financial Times, June 2014)

“Emma Bell’s Madame Lidoine was beautifully sung.” (Opera Magazine, August 2014)

“Emma Bell…a dramatic account of Mme Lidoine’s music.” (Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, June 2014)

“Emma Bell and Sophie Koch are equally intense…both are excellent.” (Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph, May 2014)

“Emma Bell is a wholehearted, lyrical Leonore” (Richard Fairman, Financial Times, September 2013)

“Emma Bell provides a lion-hearted Leonore, plausibly boyish and full of ardour.” (Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph, September 2013)

“Musical standards were exciting. Emma Bell’s serene, ardent Leonore.” (Fiona Maddocks, Guardian, September 2013)

“her great aria…Emma Bell sings that magnificently and in it shows us precisely who she is. Bell has the requisite mezzo colour for the role but also the big heroic top and I have heard few who so successfully negotiate the virile runs and tricky switches of register through such exemplary breath control.” (Independent, September 2013)

“But the vocal honours went to Emma Bell, who delivered the required radiance throughout as a pious Elsa in pre-Raphaelite mode. Nearly too rich of voice to convey the part’s ethereal weightlessness, she nevertheless snag with natural lyricism and was very touching in the way she acted out her own confusion, exchanging obsessive compulsion for self-loathing once she had prised the truth out of Lohengrin.” (John Allison, Opera Magazine, July 2013)

“Emma Bell’s pre-Raphaelite Elsa radiates vocal excitement.” (Andrew Clark, Financial Times, May 2013)

“Emma Bell was utterly radiant as Elsa, with the sort of luminous poise you’d find in a Nazarene painting. Her singing glowed with quality, and she registered as a real character rather than an abstract symbol of womanhood.” (Opera Now, July 2013)

“Emma Bell’s Elsa is the most radiant thing I have heard this lovely singer do and her entry in her wedding dress for the procession in Act Three was exquisitely moving, merely as acting.” (The Spectator, June 2013)

“Emma Bell enchanted as the passive, bereft Elsa.” (Fiona Maddocks, Observer, May 2013)

“Emma Bell’s rapturous Fox, a stage-filling portrayal.” (Andrew Clark, Financital Times, May 2012)

“Musical standards were exceptional…Emma Bell’s cool and lubricious Fox.” (Fiona Maddocks, Guardian, May 2012)