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Julia Riley mezzo-soprano


Praised for her "plush mezzo" and "lively presence on stage", British mezzo-soprano Julia Riley is much sought after on both the operatic stage and the concert platform. She is currently a principal artist at the Zürich Opernhaus, where her roles so far have included Charlotte in Calixto Bieto's groundbreaking production of Zimmerman's Die Soldaten; Dinah Trouble in Tahiti; Tebaldo Don Carlo under Fabio Luisi; Second Niece Peter Grimes; Fidalma Il Matrimonio Segreto; Tisbe La Cenerentola; and Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte.

Recent engagements elsewhere include role debuts as Sesto La Clemenza di Tito and Xerxes with English Touring Opera, as well as Dorabella Cosi fan tutte for Opera Holland Park, for which she received great critical acclaim: "This Dorabella, really rather a nasty piece of work, is sung with great flair and rhythmic rigour by the glowing mezzo of Julia Riley" (Hilary Finch, Times).

Other roles include Nancy Albert Herring for the Opéra Comique, Opera de Rouen, and Glyndebourne on Tour; Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte for Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, and Glyndebourne on Tour; Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro for Glyndebourne on Tour; Donna Elvira Don Giovanni and Giovanna Seymour Anna Bolena for English Touring Opera; and Alessandro Eliogabalo for Grange Park Opera.

Highlights of the current season include Second Maid Elektra, Flora in Jonathan Dove's The Enchanted Pig, Giovanna Rigoletto, and Second Lady Die Zauberflöteat the Zürich Opernhaus, as well as Charlotte Die Soldaten at the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires.

Recent concert highlights include performances with La Scintilla (Zürich Opernhaus Baroque Orchestra) under Laurence Cummings, her first Verdi Requiem with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, and her BBC Proms debut in Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music under Sir Andrew Davis. She has also performed at London's Barbican Centre, Birmingham Symphony Hall, London's Cadogan Hall, BBC Welsh Proms, London Bach Festival, Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Lisbon, and with the Academy of Ancient Music under Richard Egarr at the Auditorio Nacional de Música, Madrid.

Julia Riley was born in York and studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio. She is winner of the Mozart Singing Competition and an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.

Julia Riley turns in a performance of star potential...

Hugh Canning, The Times