Sally Burgess


Sally Burgess FRCM is a South Africa-born British operatic lyric mezzo-soprano, opera director, and educator. She has been a Fellow and Professor of Vocal Studies at the Royal College of Music since 2004, as well as teaching stagecraft. She has also taught at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.

Born in 1953 in South Africa, Burgess studied at the Royal College of Music in London with Marion Studholme and Josephine Veasey. She made her debut on the opera stage as Zerlina in Don Giovanni with English National Opera. The ENO gave her a solo contract when she was only 23, and during her career she has sung over 40 roles with the company. Amongst the other companies where has appeared are: the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where she made her debut as Siebel in Faust with Alfredo Kraus, the Metropolitan Opera, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Switzerland as Fricka in Der Ring des Nibelungen, Houston Grand Opera as Polinesso in Ariodante, and the Opéra Bastille in Paris in the title role of Carmen. A critic for The Sunday Times described her as "the greatest exponent of Carmen I have ever seen". Carmen is a role with which she has a particular affinity and is one she has sung all over the world. Her other roles include Azucena in Il trovatore, Amneris in Aida, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, Judith in Bluebeard's Castle, Kabanicha in Katya Kabanova, Ottavia in L'incoronazione di Poppea, Delilah in Samson and Delilah, and Herodias in Salome.

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