Judith Howarth – Soprano

Biography

Judith Howarth recently sang Lady Macbeth for Grange Festival to critical acclaim and first came to public attention when she joined the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as a Principal aged twenty one. There she sang many roles including Oscar Un Ballo in MascheraMusetta La bohèmeLiu TurandotGilda RigolettoMorgana AlcinaNorina Don PasqualeCressida Troilus and Cressida and Marguerite Les Huguenots. In 2024 Judith sings Lady Billows Albert Herring for Opera North.

Subsequent engagements include Elisabetta Don Carlo for Finnish National Opera, Ellen Orford Peter Grimes at the Deutsche Opera, Berlin, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Santiago de Chile, Oviedo and English National Opera, Christine Intermezzo and Aithra Die ägyptische Helena in Santa Fe, Nedda I Pagliacci and all four soprano roles in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for Florida Grand Opera, Olga Fedora for the Washington National Opera, Violetta La traviatafor the Minnesota Opera, English National Opera and Glyndebourne and Liu at the Staatsoper, Berlin, Dalila Samson (Handel) for the Netherlands Opera, Marie La fille du régiment in Geneva and Madame Mao Nixon in China for ENO and in Athens and New York. Judith has also sung the title role in Madama Butterfly in Helsinki, Minnesota and for ENO and WNO, the title role of Maria Stuarda in Minnesota, Elgar Caractacus at the Three Choirs Festival with Sir Andrew Davis, the Glagolitic Mass and Dvorak Te Deum with CBSO at Symphony Hall, Birmingham and Verdi Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall.

On the concert platform Judith has toured with Plàcido Domingo to Seattle, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Brussels and Amsterdam, going on to sing Strauss’s Four Last Songs in Vienna conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Her festival appearances include Aix-en-Provence, The Proms, Tanglewood, Edinburgh and Salzburg. She has worked with many distinguished conductors including Georges Prêtre, Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Georg Solti, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Claudio Abbado, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Charles Mackerras, and Seiji Ozawa.

Judith has appeared on television world-wide with a discography of more than 30 recordings including; Troilus and Cressida, conducted by Richard Hickox (winner of Gramophone Magazine’s Opera of the Year), Il Segreto di Susanna with the Oviedo Filarmonia (under Friedrich Haider), the title role in Mercadante’sMaria Stuarda, Regina di Scozia for Opera Rara and Mahler Symphony No. 8 under LPO’s own recording label.

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Reviews

“Until Albert finds his voice, it’s the fearsome Lady Billows who dominates, and soprano Judith Howarth is a riot of strop and stridency in the role: Emmeline Lucas meets Lady Catherine de Bourgh.”

The Guardian

“Judith Howarth was a bustling, firebrand Lady Macbeth…She produced concentrated tone across her entire range, assuming command of its coloratura as much as its broad arcs.”

Opera Magazine

“Acclaimed soprano Judith Howarth excels as Lady Macbeth, the audience was given a masterclass of singing that could chill the blood through both the passion and ferocity to the softness and measure of her descent into madness. An experienced and expert singer, she understands the reason for every word of the text and every single one of Verdi’s notes – delivering both with outstanding authority. Her complex character is firmly and thoughtfully conveyed.”

The Stage

“Judith Howarth is one of those singers whose rare appearances in the UK make you wish we heard more of her. This was one of the most complete and consummate accounts of Lady Macbeth that I have seen, commanding and fierce, unnerving yet also very human and arc from beginning to end was finely judged.”

Planet Hugill

“Judith Howarth is a Butterfly worth waiting for. We hear and see all too little of her in London but, from her first entry, there is a seriousness, a dignity and a sense of calm superiority about her that makes her descent into obsessive self-delusion at the hands of Puccini all the more horrifying. When she sings of the spirits of her ancestors, in the lustrous lower registers of her voice, a deep abyss of time and wisdom opens up and a heart of darkness is revealed. What’s more, you never have to glance up at the surtitles to check her words.”

The Times

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