Felicity Palmer is renowned for her incisive and powerful interpretations across a remarkably varied repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi to Messiaen. Equally at home on the operatic stage, concert platform and in the recital hall, she brings a musical and dramatic fidelity to every performance, which has earned her a reputation as one of the outstanding British singers of her generation.
Her pioneering emphasis on text, and its capacity to transform music, has defined her success as an artist throughout her career. In recent years she has been working to bring this approach to the opera rehearsal process, and her work has contributed to award winning productions at English National Opera and Glyndebourne.
As an operatic mezzo-soprano, her credits includes regular appearances at the Royal Opera House, (Elektra, Katya Kabanova, Sweeney Todd), The Metropolitan Opera, New York (Ring Cycle, Dialogues des Carmélites, Pelléas et Mélisande, The Queen of Spades), Bayerische Staatsoper (Das Rheingold, Die Walküre) as well as work with Zurich, Toulouse, Chicago, San Francisco, Paris and English National Opera. She has collaborated with many conductors, including James Levine, Antonio Papanno, Ricardo Mutti and Zubin Mehta. She has been a regular guest at the BBC Proms and with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia and London Symphony.
Highlights of her considerable catalogue of recordings include Elektra with the WDR Orchestra and Semyon Bychkov, and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, as well as Dialogues des Carmélites with English National Opera and Paul Daniel. She recorded three celebrated discs of French song for Argo Records with John Constable and the Nash Ensemble, directed by Sir Simon Rattle, and recorded and toured Messiaen’s Poemes pour Mi with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Pierre Boulez, in collaboration with the composer.
She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2011.
‘In a league of her own, the magnificent Palmer was unbelievably believable.’