The English mezzo-soprano, Susan Bickley, studied music at the City University, London and at the Guildhall School where she won the Gold Medal for singers.
Suzan Bickley made her operatic debut in Monteverdi Orfeo at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, singing the role of Proserpina. She has sung Florence Pike Albert Herring, Marcellina Le nozze di Figaro, Kostelnicka Jenufa, Hippolyta A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Mrs. Sedley Peter Grimes for Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Florence Pike, Anna Electrification of the Soviet Union, Marcellina, Kabanicha Katya Kabanova, Kostelnicka, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni, Nan New Year and Irene Theodora for Glyndebourne Touring Opera; Feodor Boris Godunov for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden; Dorabella Cosi fan Tutte, Second Lady Magic Flute, Andromache King Priam, Kurfürstin The Prince of Homburg, Twice Through the Heart and Meg Page Falstaff for English National Opera.
Operatic engagements abroad have included Kabanicha for Paris Opera, Octavian Der Rosenkavalier for the Hong Kong Festival, Herodias Salome for San Francisco Opera, Kurfurstin, Sorceress Dido and Aeneas and Countess Geschwitz Lulu for Flanders Opera, Kostelnicka for New Israeli Opera, George Frideric Handel's Serse at the Göttingen Festival (also recorded by BMG), Clytaemestra in Laman's Agamemnon at the 1997 Holland Festival, Penelope The Return of Ulysses with The Sixteen in Lisbon and Ottavia L'Incoronazione di Poppea in Japan with the Purcell Quartet.
Recent engagements include Baba the Turk (Rake’s Progress) and Jenufa at Glyndebourne, G.F. Handel's Semele and David Sawers new opera From Morning to Midnight at ENO, Florence Pike (Albert Herring) at Opera North, Maria Thins in Louis Andriessen/Peter Greenaway's opera Writing to Vermeer for Netherlands Opera, Romeo in Bellini’s I Montecchi e I Capuletti at Grange Park Opera, and Ghost in Harrison Birtwistle's The Last Supper at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
Susan Bickley has a busy concert schedule with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orschestra, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Hallé Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London Sinfonietta, Residentie Orkest, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Sinfonia 21, Nash Ensemble, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, St. James Baroque Players, Les Arts Florissants and the Ensemble InterContemporain and has given recitals with the Allegri and Brodsky Quartets, the Songmakers' Almanac and Fretwork.
Highlights from her concert schedule include Ligeti's Requiem at the Salzburg Festival, Nicholas Maw's Scenes and Arias as well as Benjamin's Upon Silence and Igor Stravinsky's Requiem Canticles at the BBC Proms, as well as L.v. Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with Les Arts Florissants in Vienna and Paris. She performs with leading conductors including Andrew Davis, Gennadi Rozhdesvensky, Nicholas McGegan, Paul McCreesh, Mark Wigglesworth, Oliver Knussen, William Christie and Robert King.
Future plans include performances of Katya Kabanova at Glyndebourne Festival, The Trojans (Parts 1 & 2) at English National Opera and Jephtha at Welsh National Opera. She will also appear in concert with the London Sinfonietta, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Gabrieli Consort and Players.
Susan Bickley frequently records for BBC radio and her commercial recordings include, G.F. Handel Serse, Theodora, Solomon, Purcell The Fairy Queen, Dido and Aeneas, Antonio Vivaldi's Juditha Triumphans, Regnaldo Hahn Songs, Granville Bantock's Sappho, George Benjamin Upon Silence and Simon Bainbridge Ad Ora Incerta and Primo Levi Songs. Her recordings are available on EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, BMG, Hyperion and Nimbus.