Canadian soprano Suzanne Rigden makes her Pacific Opera Victoria debut in 2014 as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos.
Suzanne Rigden is making her mark on North American stages with her remarkable gift for stratospheric coloratura. Suzanne holds degrees in vocal performance and opera from Memorial University and the University of British Columbia and is a 2011 graduate of l'Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal. She performed a glorious debut of the role of Sophie in Montreal Opera's Werther and appeared as the Page in Rigoletto, as well as the First Spirit and cover for the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute. She also was a soloist in l'Atelier's tour of Quebec with the show of opera favorites called Aleacanto, and she sang the role of Gertrude in Nelligan, an opera by André Gagnon.
Recent opera performances include Frasquita in a tour of Carmen with Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Nova Scotia, and a return to Merola Opera Centre in San Francisco to sing Lady with a Hand Mirror in Postcard from Morocco and the cover for Serpetta in La Finta Giardiniera. Suzanne also performed the role of Morgana in Alcina with Pocket Opera of New York, and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Merola. Other roles included Gretel in Hansel and Gretel with the Prince George Symphony, and Tytania in A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Banff Opera program.
Suzanne has been heard outside North America as Marie in La fille du régiment with the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, and as Frasquita in Carmen in the Czech Republic. She was also a featured soloist in the Enchanting Classics on the Seas concert series on the Celebrity Cruise ship Reflection, and in Opera Nova Scotia's Opera Valentine. Suzanne sang the role of Asprano in Vivaldi's Montezuma with Montreal's Ensemble Caprice, and performed the Queen of the Night in Mozart's The Magic Flute with Festival Opéra de St. Eustache.
Suzanne has sung in numerous international competitions, including New York's George London Competition, where she was a finalist in both 2010 and 2012 and received the Canadian Encouragement Award. She has also twice received the Prix Lyrique Hariclea Darclée-Michel Buruiana with Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, and was regional prize winner in the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She was a semi-finalist for the Ningbo International Vocal Competition in China; a finalist in Spazio Musica, Orvieto, Italy, and a semi-finalist for the Marmande International Vocal Competition in France.
In concert, Suzanne Rigden has been heard with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in the Merola Grand Finale Concerts in 2011 and 2012; Ensemble Caprice in Queen of the Night and Witches Concert; Orchestra du Grand Montréal for Noël à l'opéra; Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal in La Magie de Mozart; Symphony Nova Scotia for Bach's B Minor Mass; Orchestra London and Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra in Handel's Messiah, and Ústí nad Labem Orchestra, Czech Republic, singing opera excerpts. Her recent Dartmouth Community Concert Association solo recital of selections by Mozart, Handel, Strauss, Ravel, and Maritime songs brought the audience instantly to their feet.
Suzanne Rigden is excited to be making her debut in her dream role of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with Pacific Opera Victoria, and in a concert performance in Toronto in December 2013. She also returns home to perform in Nova Scotia Talent Trustís Portia White Concert with the Dalhousie Medical Choir and Sackville Concert Band, followed by a concert of arias from Lakmé and Mignon, and the roles of Zerlina in Opera Nova Scotiaís Don Giovanni, and Adele in Maritime Concert Operaís Die Fledermaus.
Rigden has a vivid and flexible soprano of considerable size, and she flung her way into those upper upper register notes with the ease of an aerialist born to fly. In mid register her voice offered a youthful sweetness.
Jaime Robles in http://www.repeatperformances.org/, 2011
Suzanne Rigden revealed a remarkable gift for stratospheric coloratura ... a wealth of impeccable passagework that started high and then just kept going higher, with pointed, note-perfect placement.
San Francisco Chronicle, 2011