Scottish mezzo-soprano Rowan Hellier has already attracted considerable attention as one of the most exciting young talents to be seen on the European operatic stage and concert platform. Praised for her ‘wonderfully mature, powerful and warm’ voice and her ‘focus, drama and clarity’ in performance, Rowan was a Young Artist at the International Opera Studio at the Berlin Staatsoper, and studied at both the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Recent operatic engagements include Wellgunde Das Rheingold with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, and Frau Grubach/Washerwoman in the world premiere of The Trial by Philip Glass at The Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. During her time at the Berlin Staatsoper she sang the roles of Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte, Annina La Traviata, Kate Pinkerton Madama Butterfly, Der Trommler Der Kaiser von Atlantis, Hirt Tosca and the title role in Vanitas at both the Berlin and Hamburg Staatsoper.
Other notable roles have included Penelope Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria conducted Christian Curnyn, the title role in Carmen with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro for Welsh National Opera, Sesto Giulio Cesare with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted Laurence Cummings, both Cecilio Lucio Silla and the title role in Adriano in Siria with Classical Opera Company, Lola Cavalleria Rusticana at the Barbican Hall, and covers of Dorabella Così fan tutte, Hänsel Hänsel und Gretel, Sesto Giulio Cesare and Kitchen Boy Rusalka for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, as well as Lucretia The Rape of Lucretia and Mercedes Carmen.
Her concert repertoire ranges from Schubert to Sciarrino. She performs regularly at the Wigmore Hall with The Prince Consort and collaborates often with leading baroque ensembles including the Dunedin Consort and King’s Consort. She has worked with conductors such as Alexander Vedernikov, Nicholas Collon, Christian Kluxen, Julien Salemkour, Leo Hussain, Alexander Soddy, André de Ridder and Omer Meir Wellber.
Highlights on the concert stage include the world premiere of Alasdair Nicolson’s Five Hauntings with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the St Magnus International Festival, Elgar’s incidental music for Grania and Diarmid with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for BBC Radio 3 and Judith Weir’s woman.life.song at both the Bregenz Festival and LSO St. Luke’s.
Of note also were her recent engagements to sing Mahler’s Symphony No.2 at the Barbican Hall, Mahler’s Rückert-Lieder with the Bath Symphony Orchestra, and Bach Christmas Oratorio with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra.
Rowan has given recitals for Opéra de Lille, the Oxford Lieder Festival, Perth Festival of the Arts and Bath International Music Festival.
Recordings include mezzo soloist in the Dunedin Consort’s Gramophone Award-winning Mozart Requiem for Linn Records and Honegger’s Le roi David with the Junges Ensemble Berlin.
In the forthcoming season appearances include Dido Dido and Aeneas conducted byTrevor Pinnock, Mozart Requiem with the Dunedin Consort in Bremen and a recital for Salisbury International Music Festival.
Rowan is currently a member of the Ensemble at the Salzburger Landestheater. Roles in the forthcoming ’15/’16 season will include Lisetta Il mondo della luna, Mercedes Carmen, Zaide Il turco in Italia and Lureen Brokeback Mountain.