Rosalind Plowright

Mezzo-soprano

Rosalind Plowright
REVIEWS

The Old Baroness: Vanessa / Wexford Festival Opera

“Rosalind Plowright as the Baroness has very little to sing but her silent painting and penetrating stares spoke volumes“

Bachtrack

 

“…it’s Rosalind Plowright as the Old Baroness, the elderly matriarch who has Anatol’s measure from the start, who walks off with both vocal and acting honours.”

The Guardian

 

"Rosalind Plowright emerges with impressive momentary passion from the habitual impassiveness of the Old Baroness."

The Irish Times

 

“The omnipresence of the old Baroness as an observer was palpably audible, although the drama in the music tells more about her feelings than just her sung text. Rosalind Plowright portrays her as a deeply embittered woman - who expresses her feelings through her painting. Only at the end, when Vanessa leaves the house, does she demonstrate for a brief moment her feelings for her daughter, - and embraces her briefly, before donning again her mask of inaccessibility. Plowright's most impressive vocal moment comes in the 2nd Act, when she gives vent to her anxiety, that her granddaughter Erika has wandered out into the cold night.”

OMM

 

“…the evening was almost stolen by Rosalind Plowright as the Old Baroness. It isn’t a large part, and she never tried to upstage or outshine anyone – indeed, she often barely moved – but it was impossible to take one’s eyes off this great artist.”

Opera

 

“Plowright’s performance was spell-binding, wonderfully acted and perfectly registered.”

Opera Now

 

“Stealing several scenes, however, is mezzo Rosalind Plowright as the stiff-backed, taciturn Old Baroness, a role she plays to perfection.”

The Stage

 

“Rosalind Plowright swept all before her: she has little to sing (the Old Baroness is barely on speaking terms with her daughter, although, here, their reconciliation as Vanessa leaves is profoundly touching), but you can’t take your eyes off her, even when she is silent, the mark of a great artist now enjoying her “third” career as a top-of-the-range cameo performer.”

The Sunday Times

 

“Rosalind Plowright is a formidable Old Baroness.”

The Telegraph

 

Mrs Sedley: Peter Grimes / Opéra National de Lyon

“Rosalind Plowright’s Mrs Sedley alone stood out, an amalgam of matriarchal Lady Billows (Herring) and post-menopausal Governess (Screw).”

The Financial Times

 

“Rosalind Plowright is an irresistible Mrs Sedley, very Arsenic and Old Lace, giving a fleeting touch of humour to this tragic story.”

Forum Opéra

 

“Equally remarkable are the supporting roles…the Mrs Sedley of Rosalind Plowright, as a sanctimonious old biddy with a criminological bent.”

Le Monde

 

“…Rosalind Plowright proves unexpected but inspired casting as the most glamorous Mrs Sedley I’ve ever encountered. Even a dowdy grey wig can’t conceal her statuesque beauty, and her low notes make me wonder if she wasn’t always a dark-toned mezzo-soprano.”

The Sunday Times

 

La Madre: Il Prigioniero / Opéra National de Paris

“The cast may pack a terrific punch - it is nice to see Rosalind Plowright (the Mother) back in the house after 20 years’ absence.”

The Financial Times

 

“In the first scene we see the mother, the mezzo-soprano Rosalind Plowright, who brought anguished vocal colourings and fierce intensity to her portrayal…”

The New York Times

 

Contessa di Coigny: Andrea Chénier / Royal Opera, London

“It’s a star-squandering cast – blink and you’ll miss Peter Coleman-Wright and Peter Hoare – but it’s a particular bonus seeing Rosalind Plowright (the Royal Opera’s Maddalena at their last Chénier staging, 30 years ago) return as the Contessa di Coigny, a brittle performance setting us up for a disquieting rethink at “La mamma morta”.

The Arts Desk

 

“…with particularly notable cameos from Rosalind Plowright as a haughty Countess di Coigny and mother of Maddalena (a role she sang at Covent Garden thirty years ago), Adrian Clarke as a potent revolutionary Mathieu, and Roland Wood as a staunch Roucher.”

Mark Ronan Theatre Reviews

 

“Rosalind Plowright and Denyce Graves were luxury casting as the Countess and Bersi respectively.”

Music OMH

 

Kostelnicka: Jenufa / Metropolitan Opera, New York

“It is the appearance of Rosalind Plowright’s stark, black-clad Kostelnicka, the devout foster-mother who damns herself by killing Jenufa’s child that makes this an unforgettable evening. It’s not often you see drama worthy of Ibsen at the opera, and even more seldom a performance to do it justice, but Plowright is just magnificent, a magnetic, harrowing presence, every scintilla of her internal torture laid without comment before the audience. This is grown-up human drama about the sins we commit out of love, and a stupefying, cathartic performance.”

The Times

 

Kabanicha: Katya Kabanova / Staatsoper Berlin

“Rosalind Plowright is brilliantly cast in the role of the dominating Kabanicha. Her voice is tailor made for this role and she rises in every respect to the challenges, both vocally and as an actress with perfect enunciation of the Czech text. RP is unquestionably one of the great singing personalities of our time, something she proves again in this performance.”

Wotans Opernkritik

 

Mila’s Mother: Osud / Oper Stuttgart

“The role which affords the most possibility for artistic development in the shortest space of time is that of Mila’s Mother, sung her by Rosalind Plowright with undiminished vocal strength and characterisation. She achieves this with direct and frightening intensity.”

Der neue Merker

 

“Rosalind Plowright reinforces the madly deranged role of the Mother with her intensely dramatic mezzo.”

Opernnetz

 

Mme de Croissy: Dialogues des Carmélites / Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

“Several powerful images will linger in the memory, above all the death of the Prioress (an overwhelming performance by Rosalind Plowright).”

La Lettre du Musicien

 

“Rosalind Plowright delivered a wrenchingly powerful performance on her deathbed.”

Opera Now

 

Mme de Croissy: Dialogues des Carmélites / Oper Stuttgart

“Superbly and expressively sung by Rosalind Plowright, the terminally sick Abbess proved shocking in her God forsaken agony.”

Esslinger Zeitung

 

“As the dying Prioress, Rosalind Plowright gave an incomparable character study. Much sought after in the 1980’s as a Verdi soprano, she now possesses a powerful mezzo with appropriately disturbing colours for this desperate character.”

Stuttgarter Zeitung

 

La Zia Principessa: Suor Angelica / Opera Holland Park

“Rosalind Plowright’s cleverly conflicted portrayal of the aunt completed this powerful conformation. She looked wonderful in her 1940’s tailored twinset, matched by the hauteur and authority of her singing.”

Classical Source

 

“Rosalind Plowright is still glamorously formidable as the Princess…”

The Financial Times

 

“Rosalind Plowright puts in a typically stunning performance as La Zia Principessa…”

Music OMH

 

“Rosalind Plowright's towering, imperious and forcefully-sung Zia Principessa."

Opera

 

“As La Zia Principessa, Angelica’s implacable, severely-suited aunt, Rosalind Plowright provided another veteran masterclass to the younger generation of singers. The voice is still big and opulent and her stage-presence commanding."

Opera Britannia

 

“Rosalind Plowright’s La Zia Principessa was less the martinet and more troubled than some depictions, making her interestingly conflicted with a moment when she almost approaches Angelica, but always within a rigidly controlled discipline.”

Planet Hugill

 

“Rosalind Plowright, singing with a wonderfully controlled legato, revealed La Zia Principessa’s more forgiving side, though it was heavily concealed below a tyrannical insistence on discipline and submission.”

Seen and Heard International

 

“Suor Angelica is notable for the searing psychological plausibility of its central confrontation between the wary Aunt of crimson-clad Rosalind Plowright and the drab, increasingly hysterical heroine.”

The Stage

 

“Rosalind Plowright’s unusually nuanced Zia Principessa…”

The Sunday Times

 

“(Anne-Sophie) Duprels is surrounded and supported by terrific colleagues – notably Rosalind Plowright as her twisted yet remorseful aunt in Suor Angelica.”

The Telegraph

 

“The opera reaches a tremendous climax with Angelica’s showdown with Rosalind Plowright’s guilt-ridden Princess…”

The Times

 

“…an imperious Rosalind Plowright…”

What’s On Stage

 

La Zia Principessa: Suor Angelica / Seattle Opera

“Plowright is superb as actress as well as singer. Her lowest notes are amazing for a singer who used to be a soprano, and the quality is still strong after over 30 years on worldwide stages.”

City Arts

 

“Fortunately, Rosalind Plowright’s steely and steady Zia had the grace and gravitas to make this work. Indeed, Plowright’s surprising touch of sympathy and humanity at her exit was a refreshing gesture of real pathos, a tangible moment of intimacy from which the rest of the evening could well have benefited.”

Opera

 

“Not surprisingly, the great Rosalind Plowright is an utterly riveting Princess, the cruelly unforgiving aunt who wreaks havoc when she visits the erring Angelica in the convent after ignoring her for seven years.”

Seattle Times

 

“Rosalind Plowright plays the pious aunt with bone-hard conviction and holier-than-thou righteousness. With acting skills to match her instrument, Plowright comes up with the best performance I’ve seen at Seattle Opera this year.”

The Sun Break

 

Klytämnestra: Elektra / Teatro Real, Madrid

“Plowright delivered a chilling performance. In her short yet vital scene, the statuesque singer used perfectly controlled body language and a soft vocal line to project the difficult combination of cruelty and vulnerability in her character.”

Opera News

 

Klytämnestra: Elektra / State Theatre, Prague

"A fabulous Klytämnestra sung by Rosalind Plowright. The confrontation with Elektra was the dramatic highlight of the evening. Her chest notes such as the low G sharp on “Kraft zu jäten” were Resnik-esque."

Bachtrack

 

"A dazzling performance by Rosalind Plowright as Klytämnestra. Initially dignified, later hysterical and guilt ridden, this was a compelling, breath taking performance."

Harmonie

 

“…no orchestra could have overwhelmed Plowright’s potent low notes in what was altogether a magnificent performance.”

Opera

 

"The singing is of the level one would expect from an international cast, particularly the flawless Rosalind Plowright..."

Opera Plus

 

Klytämnestra: Elektra / Seattle Opera

“Mezzo Rosalind Plowright delivers a psychological masterpiece as Klytämnestra, agonised between killing and the ruin of her life.”

Go Arts

 

“British mezzo-soprano Rosalind Plowright’s tormented, vicious, yet pitiable and curiously dignified Klytämnestra was sung with opulent precisely focused tone, yet also with a taut intensity that was indeed bloodcurdling.”

MusicWeb International

 

“…the tour de force belonged to Rosalind Plowright as the desperate and paranoid Klytämnestra. Plowright commands the stage. Stooped and hobbling as if enduring the ancient equivalent of chemotherapy, Plowright is spellbinding a she recounts her guilt-ridden nightmares in a wild-eyed, neurotic rasp.”

Seattle Stranger

 

“…British mezzo-soprano Rosalind Plowright’s tormented, vicious, yet pitiable and curiously dignified Klytämnestra, sung with an intensity that was indeed bloodcurdling.”

Seattle Times

 

Herodias: Salome / Portland Opera

“Rosalind Plowright, a former leading soprano now singing the heavier character mezzo roles, brings a formidable voice and the cast’s best acting to Herodias.”

The Oregonian

 

Herodias: Salome / Royal Opera, London

“…Rosalind Plowright’s Herodias is refreshingly uncaricatured: it’s easy to imagine her as the chic hostess of the dinner party that’s going on upstairs as the gruesome events unfold beneath.”

The Guardian

 

“Rosalind Plowright fields a Herodias combining sophistication with menace.”

The Stage

 

“As his wife Herodias, Rosalind Plowright is regal, the voice appropriately harsh the demeanour superbly disdainful.”

The Standard

 

“There are good cameos in the supporting cast…particularly Rosalind Plowright’s raddled Herodias.”

The Times

 

The Countess: The Queen of Spades / Opera Holland Park

“The magnificent Rosalind Plowright plays the countess “the Queen of Spades” and is not only in great voice but on great acting form. Bent over her two sticks, bustled and black bombazined, she resembles a poisonous spider ready to pounce. She steals all her scenes – even when she’s dead.”

The Arbuturian

 

"Star quality comes from Rosalind Plowright, whose Countess still boasts plenty of voice and a formidable stage presence."

The Financial Times

 

"Plowright makes a very fine Countess. We sense the woman’s former beauty beneath the effects of time and age, her implacable will and terror of mortality. It’s a compelling performance."

The Guardian

 

"Rosalind Plowright’s Countess is an extraordinary creation: moving painfully on her sticks like a praying mantis, she commands events with baleful power."

The Independent

 

"Rosalind Plowright is simply a class act as the Countess and draws out the contrast between the formidable public figure, who here is constantly surrounded by an entourage of ladies-in-waiting, and the frail old lady who is left alone in her bedroom at night."

Music OMH

 

"Rosalind Plowright was grand and spectral as the Countess."

The Observer

 

"Quite the most riveting of the principals was Rosalind Plowright's cantankerous Countess, creeping painfully around the stage on ebony sticks of unequal length, banging them imperiously. She was indeed the queen on that final, fateful card. When she opened up to full throttle, her mezzo was chillingly sepulchral, and with fawning courtiers everywhere except the bedroom there was no doubting who ruled the roost."

Opera

 

"Rosalind Plowright’s marvellously cantankerous Countess was a total triumph. Encased beetle-like in a terrifying black dress she drew from visual sources as varied as Miss Havisham, Sondheim’s Madame Armfeldt and Antony Sher’s bottled-spider Richard III. Her whiplash delivery of the withering put-down contrasted perfectly with the pathos and wistful regret of her Gretry Coeur de Lion air."

Opera Britannia

 

"It was, perhaps inevitably, Rosalind Plowright’s Countess who made the strongest dramatic impression. Although she does not have very much to sing during the first act - here, Tchaikovsky’s three acts were condensed into two - she held the stage just by entering, let alone by painfully, agonisingly, walking across it with her sticks. (I thought a little of my first encounter with Waltraud Meier in the theatre: as Ortrud as Covent Garden. The character has little to sing at all in the first act of Lohengrin, but I could not keep my eyes off her.) And the insight into her interior life, above all to her past, was moving, evoking an historical canvas far wider than we were explicitly or even implicitly told."

Opera Today

 

"Rosalind Plowright’s Countess, is a fearsome creature, permanently bent double and supported by two sticks, making her look like some malicious predatory insect. And from the second she entered, she dominated the stage. The eye – and ear – were drawn like a magnet."

Seen and Heard International

 

"…(the) steadily rising tension (of the second half) is partly the result of director Rodula Gaitanou’s surefooted stagecraft, but owes much, too, to Rosalind Plowright’s commanding assumption of the elderly, cantankerous Countess. Her reappearances from beyond the grave are appropriately scene-stealing."

The Stage

 

"…it is Rosalind Plowright’s Countess, dressed in arachnid black and with a voice to match, whose performance chills the soul."

The Standard

 

"Rosalind Plowright's Countess, spider-like in black costume and on two ebony walking sticks, exudes a sinister presence."

Sunday Express

 

"OHP's casting certainly rises to the challenge, with Rosalind Plowright making a diva turn out of the cameo, but crucial, role of the old Countess...She sang the Grétry air in the bedroom beautifully and is always an impressive figure on stage."

The Sunday Times

 

"Rosalind Plowright seems to have found a niche as a character mezzo-soprano: her crippled yet ramrod Countess - spidery and splenetic, the lineaments of her youthful beauty still visible – made a striking impression."

The Telegraph

 

“…Rosalind Plowright’s compelling, cadaverous Countess…”

The Times

 

Amneris: Aïda / Opera New Zealand

“This Aïda presents us with two stunning singers – mezzo soprano Rosalind Plowright and tenor Carl Tanner – who have quite simply the best voices heard in Wellington for years. As Amneris and Radames, the two Egyptian protagonists, they are quite superb, their voices capable of everything from heart wrenching pathos to blazing power. Rosalind Plowright, in particular, creates a fascinatingly complex and powerful character as Amneris.”

Capital Times

 

“Striking to look at, Plowright showed that the lower reaches of the mezzo hold no terrors for her as she fills the house with singing of the highest class.”

The Dominion

 

Amneris: Aïda / Scottish Opera

“I shall remember the evening because of the sterling performance of Amneris by Rosalind Plowright. The mezzo range suits her ideally now, she sang with total conviction and lustrous rich tone and she looked stunning in a succession of regal gowns. Her magnetic command of the stage recalled Marie Collier to me. A triumph for her.”

The Sunday Telegraph

 

“Scottish Opera’s new production of Verdi’s Aïda has its good points. Most of them involve the glamorous Rosalind Plowright. Plowright spectacularly seizes her moment of glory, the electrifying Judgement Scene, singing with thrilling, if wild, abandon and going stark-staring bonkers, her tresses dishevelled, her virgin-white evening gown bloodied. Indeed, Plowright is so much the protagonist of this staging that the opera might be renamed Amneris.

The Sunday Times

 

“The best performance came from Rosalind Plowright, as Amneris, returning to the mezzo range in which she started her career. The music lies securely in her voice, she has natural grandeur of utterance, and it was heart-warming to see her enjoying a richly deserved success.”

The Times

 

Amneris: Aïda / Chandos CD

“If ever there were an occasion where Verdi’s opera to be entitled ’Amneris’, this is it. In that role, Rosalind Plowright, now back in mezzo territory after her exploits as a soprano, gives a blinding account of the Egyptian princess’ love, jealously and eventual remorse, thus confirming the fact that her character is the most interesting as regards development, in the whole work .All her emotions are expressed in gleamingly dramatic tone and above all, in an expressive use of Edmund Tracey’s translation, for once entirely justifying giving a work in the vernacular. Her incisive, bold and vocally resonant portrayal is as good a reason as any for acquiring this set.”

Gramophone

 

“…Rosalind Plowright’s blinding Amneris, a role she sings as to the manner born, with generous phrasing, rich focused tone and a wealth of meaning as regards enunciation of Edmund Tracey’s translation.”

Opera

 

Ulrica: Un ballo in maschera / Winslow Hall Opera

“Rosalind Plowright made a predictably formidable and rather glamorous Ulrica…”

Opera

 

Fricka: Die Walküre / Royal Opera

“As Fricka, Rosalind Plowright has never sounded in better voice, or acted with such confidence: a triumph.”

The Financial Times

 

“…the best single performance of the evening came from Rosalind Plowright as Fricka. Grandly dressed as a powerful Victorian matron, she fielded plenty of convincing mezzo tone that was secure and direct enough to make Wotan’s quailing before her admonishment entirely credible. Here was the perfect balance between words and notes that Wagner needs.”

Opera News

 

“Rosalind Plowright’s Fricka is superlative, vocally incisive, intelligently delivered…”

The Standard

 

“It was thrilling to hear Rosalind Plowright in such lustrous vocal and dramatic form as Wotan’s wife Fricka.”

The Sunday Telegraph

 

“…Rosalind Plowright’s statuesque, neurotic Fricka shares the vocal honours with Tomlinson.”

The Sunday Times

 

“Rosalind Plowright gives the most complete performance of her life as Fricka, a buttoned-up Victorian matriarch capable of reducing Wotan to quaking obeisance, yet nevertheless disclosing a mountain of inner anguish.”

The Times

 

La Belle Dame sans Merci / Romeo Records CD

“No singing actor could top these superb theatrical renderings of Kurt Weill's "Je ne t'aime pas" and "Surabaya Johnny."

Opera News



DISCOGRAPHY

Donizetti Mary Stuart (role of Elizabeth)
Janet Baker, David Rendall, Alan Opie, John Tomlinson
English National Opera / Charles Mackerras
Chandos CD CHAN 3073 / Warner Classics DVD 2564862027

Giordano Andrea Chénier (roles of Contessa di Coigny / Madelon)
Norma Fantini, Hector Sandoval, Scott Hendricks, Tania Kross
Wiener Symphoniker / Ulf Schirmer
C Major DVD 707908 / Blu Ray 708004

Humperdinck Hansel and Gretel (role of Gertrude)
Rebecca Evans, Jane Henschel, Jennifer Larmore, Robert Hayward
Philharmonia Orchestra / Charles Mackerras
Chandos CD CHAN 3143

Humperdinck Hansel and Gretel (role of Gertrude)
Christine Schäfer, Alice Coote, Alan Held, Philip Langridge
The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra / Vladimir Jurowski
EMI DVD 2063089

Mahler Symphony No. 2
Brigitte Fassbänder
Philharmonia Orchestra / Giuseppe Sinopoli
DGG CD 4455872

Mendelssohn Elijah
Linda Finnie, Arthur Davies, Willard White
London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus / Richard Hickox
Chandos CD CHAN 8774

Offenbach Les contes d’Hoffmann (role of Antonia)
Luciana Serra, Ann Murray, Neil Schicoff, José van Dam
Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie / Sylvain Cambreling
EMI CD 49641

Poulenc Dialogues des Carmélites (role of Madame de Croissy)
Patricia Petibon, Sophie Koch, Véronique Gens, Sandrine Piau, Topi Lehtipuu,
Philippe Rouillon
Philharmonia Orchestra / Jérémie Rohrer
Erato DVD 2564621953 / Blu-Ray 2564621953

Puccini Suor Angelica (role of Suor Angelica)
Dunja Vejzovic
La Scala, Milan / Gianandrea Gavazzeni
Warner Classics DVD 5046709432

Spontini La Vestale (role of Julia)
Gisella Pasino, Francisco Araiza, Pierre Lefebre
Munich Radio Orchestra / Gustav Kuhn
Orfeo CD C256922H

Verdi Aïda (role of Amneris)
Jane Eaglen, Dennis O’Neill, Gregory Yurisch, Alastair Miles
Philharmonia Orchestra / David Parry
Chandos CD CHAN 3074

Verdi La Forza del Destino (role of Leonora)
José Carreras, Renato Bruson, Paata Burchuladze, Agnes Baltsa
Philharmonia Orchestra / Giuseppe Sinopoli
DGG CD 4775621

Verdi Otello (role of Desdemona)
Charles Craig, Neil Howlett
English National Opera / Mark Elder
Chandos CD CHAN 3068

Verdi Il trovatore (role of Leonora)
Plácido Domingo, Brigitte Fassbänder, Giorgio Zancanaro, Yevgeny Nesterenko
Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma / Carlo Maria Giulini
DGG CD 4775915

Verdi Il trovatore (role of Leonora)
Franco Bonisolli, Fiorenza Cossotto, Giorgio Zancanaro, Paolo Washington
Verona Arena / Reynald Giovaninetti
Warner Classics DVD 4509992152

La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Songs by Brahms, Bridge, Britten, de Falla, Kaye, Quilter, Stanford, Stradella, Tchaikovsky, Weill
Philip Mountford – Piano
Romeo Records CD 7302

AUDIO / VIDEO
Rosalind Plowright in R. Strauss: Elektra - Ich will nicht mehr hören