Canadian soprano Suzanne Rigden made her Pacific Opera Victoria debut in 2014 as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos. She returns as Tytania in the 2016 production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream
Suzanne is establishing herself on the International stage with her remarkable gift for stratospheric coloratura. She 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.
Her 2015 season has included a “dazzling” performance in the Quarter-Finals of the 2015 Montreal International Voice Competition, summer recitals as a Tanglewood Music Fellow, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance for Drayton Entertainment, and a performance in the Victoria Symphony's Viennese New Year's Gala.
Other recent credits include Sophie in Werther (Opéra de Montréal), Frasquita in Carmen (Jeunesses Musicales du Canada), the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute (Festival Opéra de Ste-Eustache), Adele in Die Fledermaus (Vancouver Opera and Maritime Concert Opera), Zerlina in Don Giovanni (Opera Nova Scotia), and Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Opera Nova Scotia and the Ann Arbor Symphony).
She participated in a tour of Quebec with Aleacanto, a show of opera favourites and appeared in Opéra de Montréal's productions of Rigoletto, Tosca, and Die Zauberflöte, covering the Queen of the Night while performing First Spirit. She also sang Gertrude in André Gagnon's Nelligan, produced by Atelier lyrique.
Recent seasons have included 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. She 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 performed internationally with the Mozarteum in Salzburg, and l'Académie internationale de musique française Michel Plasson in France. She was Marie in La fille du régiment with the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, and Frasquita in Carmen in the Czech Republic. She recently returned from a successful Eternal Classic Opera Tour of 14 cities in China.
Suzanne has sung in numerous international competitions, winning First Place and the Audience Choice award in the 2015 National Opera Association Voice Competition, Artist division, in North Carolina, and delighting the audience in her quarter-finalist recital in the 2015 Montreal International Voice Competition. She was a finalist in both 2010 and 2012 in New York's George London Competition 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 has won two Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation awards and 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 has been heard with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, Ensemble Caprice, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre Symphonique des Jeunes de Montréal, Orchestra London, Symphony Nova Scotia, Newfoundland Symphony, Teplice Symphony, Czech Republic, and Victoria Symphony.
Suzanne Rigden, pert and personable as the worldly flirt Zerbinetta, has a gleaming, cleanly articulate coloratura sound, and she nails her huge, dazzlingly virtuosic recitative and aria.
Kevin Bazzana, Times Colonist, review of POV's Ariadne auf Naxos, 2014
In her VO debut, soprano Suzanne Rigden brought an agile and graceful coloratura as well as an impish coquettishness to the role of Adele and played her as a delightfully shrewd and feisty survivor to win huge audience empathy and applause at curtain.
Opera Canada, review of Vancouver Opera's Die Fledermaus)
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.
Joshua Cosman, San Francisco Chronicle review of Merola Opera's Il barbiere di Siviglia, 2011