Susan Chilcott, one of the outstanding singers of her generation, died from cancer in 2003 aged 40. The Susan Chilcott Scholarship is an independent charity set up in her name was set up to provide funding for professional classical singers for advanced training or career development.
Susan Chilcott’s international successes both on the opera stage and concert platform established her as one of England’s most sought after sopranos. She made her operatic début with Scottish Opera, and appeared with all the UK’s major opera houses including the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, where she made a highly acclaimed début with Placido Domingo and Valery Gergiev in Tschaikovsky’s Queen of Spades.
Abroad she sang with several of Europe’s leading houses and had a particular association with Belgian National Opera where she made her début as Britten’s Ellen Orford in 1994 to great acclaim., In May 2000 she made a sensational début with Netherlands Opera as Janácek’s Katya, for which she received the Performance of the Year Award from The Friends of the Netherlands Opera. She returned to Netherlands Opera in 2002 to sing Poulenc’s Blanche.
In 2002 she also made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York in Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her last full operatic role was as Jenufa for Welsh National Opera in 2003. This ‘searing vocal and dramatic performance’ was seen by many to be a definitive interpretation and won her RPS Music Award for Singer.
Since her student days Susan Chilcott appeared in recital with pianist Iain Burnside.
Susan Chilcott died in September 2003 at the age of 40. The Susan Chilcott Scholarship was set up in her memory and was first awarded in 2005.
Purchase ‘Susan Chilcott at La Monnaie’ - a rare CD of Susan singing Britten, Verdi and Richard Strauss.
Dr Ahmad Sarmast: RPS Honorary Member and founder of Afghanistan’s first national music school in Kabul.
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