Susan Chilcott is survived by her husband
David Sigall, who was also her agent for many years. David recalls in this moving program her love for the work she so adored
and for life. Most of all her only son Hugh, now with Susan's great friend Iain Burnside who is his legal guardian.
is a prominent member of Ingpen Williams an artist's management firm in London. Founded in 1946 by Joan Ingpen, and her dog
Williams, the business passed into the hands of Howard Hartog when Joan Ingpen moved to Covent Garden as artistic administrator
at the request of Sir Georg Solti. She subsequently held similar positions at the Paris Opéra and the Metropolitan
Opera New York.
During the second half of the twentieth century, the company represented many of the greatest
artists of the time, including Sir Georg Solti, Pierre Boulez, Rudolf Kempe, Sir Michael Tippett, Dame Joan Sutherland, Elisabeth
Söderström, Christa Ludwig, Geraint Evans, Hans Hotter and Alfred Brendel. Boulez and Brendel remain on the list
today. Ingpen and Williams has adapted to the twenty-first century without losing any of the traditions of long-term personal
management that have always been at the heart of the company. It has maintained a scale of operation which allows the
firm's individuals to communicate with each other, with its artists and with those throughout the world who wish
to engage its artists. The sense of continuity which it seeks to achieve in its relationship with both artists
and promoters is exemplified by the fact that directors David Sigall, Jonathan Groves and Thomas Hull have been with the company
since 1972, 1974 and 1990 respectively.
Musical extracts appearing in this program: "Temerari... Come scoglio"
(1996) & "Verdi's Desdemona" from Otello with staging by Willy Decker (2003)
"The amazing life of Susan Chilcott"
(1963 - 2003)
"An Operatic soprano
capable of expressing the rawest of emotions in the most beautiful
Susan Chilcott (July
8, 1963 – September 4, 2003) was an English soprano, considered one of the best of her generation. While
achieving worldwide fame among the aficionados of opera and classical music in general, she failed to become a household name,
something which she would have undoubtedly have done but for her death from breast cancer at the age of 40. She had success
in many of the major opera houses around the world and was particularly known for her interpretations of Britten and Janáček.
Susan Chilcott was born in the village of
Timsbury, near Bath, England. Her talent was obvious from an early age. She sang in chapels and community halls in the area
as well in school assemblies at Writhlington School, near Bath, which she attended between 1974 and 1979.
At the age
of 12 her talent was noted by Mollie Petrie, a singing teacher, who remained with her as a singing coach and advisor for the
rest of her career. In 1982, she started studying at the Guildhall School of Music where her tutor was Noelle Barker.
Her operatic debut was as the First Lady in The Magic Flute, in Oviedo
in 1991. In that year she also sang with the Scottish Opera. The performance which could be described as her major breakthrough,
bringing her to the attention of a wider audience, was her interpretation of Ellen Orford in Benjamin Britten's Peter
Grimes at La Monnaie in Belgium in 1994. During the next few years, she had huge success in Europe, singing roles from
Verdi, Boesman, Dvořák, Britten and Janáček. Indeed, her performance in 1999 in Janáček's
Katya Kabanova was considered by many critics to be one of her best.
Another triumphant performance was in
2001 at Glyndebourne as Desdemona in Sir Peter Hall's production of Otello. In 2002 she sang opposite Plácido
Domingo in Tchaikovsky's The Queen of Spades at Covent Garden. Her last full operatic role was as Jenufa for Welsh
National Opera in 2003 and for this she received, posthumously, the 2003 Royal Philharmonic Society Singer Award. Apart from
her operatic work, she also gave concerts, often with pianist Iain Burnside, a close friend, and with him and the actress
Fiona Shaw, gave intimate poetry recitals.
Pappano - Music Director Covent Garden"
''It is rare to
come across an opera star who is as good an actress as she is a singer,''
Chilcott was an English soprano. At the age of twelve she began singing lessons with Mollie Petrie , who was to remain her teacher and mentor, and from 1982 to 1986 she
studied at the GSMD. After singing mainly in oratorio and recitals, she made her professional operatic début as Frasquita
in Scottish Opera's 1991 production of Carmen, returning
to Glasgow the following year as First Lady in Die Zauberflöte. Her major breakthrough came in
1994 , when she sang Ellen Orford in Peter Grimes
at La Monnaie, a performance described as ‘treasurable for the assurance with which she moved and for a soprano voice
of great beauty and expressivity’. The same year her portrayal of Tatyana in Yevgeny Onegin for
Glyndebourne Touring Opera was widely praised for its mingled vulnerability and dramatic urgency.
"A formidable talent taken before her
time - cheating the people of an iconic and much loved figure"
"The Susan Chilcott Scholarship"
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