English soprano Susanna Fairbairn gained an MA with Distinction from the Wales International Academy of Voice, under the tutelage of Dennis O’Neill and Nuccia Focile. Previously, she was a pupil of Alison Wells at Trinity College of Music, London, winning the English Song Competition, the Wilfred Greenhouse Allt Prize and the Paul Simm Opera Prize. Fairbairn formerly studied flute as an Instrumental Scholar while completing her undergraduate degree at Magdalen College, Oxford. She is now mentored by Raymond Connell.
A Park Lane Group Young Artist and winner of the Selma D and Leon Fishbach Memorial Prize at the 2014 Handel Singing Competition, Fairbairn enjoys singing diverse and varied repertoire, from new commissions to opera of all periods. Significant solo appearances include a programme of Schumann with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Brahms’s Requiem in St David’s Hall, Cardiff; Messiah at the Wales Millennium Centre; the St John Passion in Birmingham Symphony Hall; Mozart’s C Minor Mass conducted by Sian Edwards; Tavener’s Veil of the Temple in Canterbury Cathedral in the composer’s presence; Finzi’s Dies Natalis at SJE in Oxford; Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony; Poulenc’s Gloria; and several solo appearances for BBC1 and BBC Radio 3.
Fairbairn is also a keen recitalist and has performed at the Wigmore Hall, the Purcell Room and St James’s Piccadilly with duo partner Matthew Schellhorn. Together they enjoy regular appearances nationwide, most recently performing Messiaen’s song cycle Poèmes pour Mi in Cambridge. Operatic highlights include the Countess (Le nozze di Figaro) for Longborough Festival Opera; Galatea (Acis and Galatea) for the Opera Theatre Company, Dublin; Donna Anna (Don Giovanni); and the soloist in Bach’s St John Passion with the English Touring Opera.