“Howarth, whom we hear too infrequently these days, is all effortless coloratura and thrilling high notes”
Representation: General Management
Judith continues to be one of the most successful British sopranos currently around, whose formidable singing technique and vocal range has allowed her to sing countless bel canto roles with enormous success, in addition to forays into the more dramatic Verdi and Puccini repertoire. She has appeared in major roles at many of the world’s leading opera houses and concert halls throughout Europe, the US and the Far East and has performed with most of the major international conductors of the last 20 years.
One of the most sought-after sopranos in Europe, Judith Howarth has consolidated a strong public following and critical appraisal for her work. She first came to public attention when she joined the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as a Principal. During nine seasons there she sang many roles including Oscar Un Ballo in Maschera, Musetta La Bohème, Liu Turandot, Gilda Rigoletto, Morgana Alcina, Norina Don Pasquale, Cressida Troilus and Cressida and Marguerite Les Huguenots. Subsequent engagements world-wide include Musetta in Cincinnati, Ellen Orford Peter Grimes in Toulouse, Santiago de Chile and Oviedo, Christine Intermezzo and Aithra Die ägyptische Helena in Santa Fe, Nedda I Pagliacci and all four soprano roles in Les Contes d’Hoffmann for Florida Grand Opera, Olga Fedora for the Washington National Opera, Violetta La Traviata for the Minnesota Opera, English National Opera and Glyndebourne and Liu at the Staatsoper, Berlin, Dalila Samson (Handel) for the Netherlands Opera, Marie La fille du régiment in Geneva and Madame Mao Nixon in China for ENO. Recent engagements have included title role in Madama Butterfly in Helsinki, title role Maria Stuarda in Minnesota, Philip Glass 1000 Airplanes on the Roof with Rednote Ensemble, Elgar Caractacus at the Three Choirs Festival with Sir Andrew Davis, Glagolitic Mass and Dvorak Te Deum with CBSO at Symphony Hall, Birmingham and Verdi Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall.
On the concert platform Judith has toured with Plàcido Domingo to Seattle, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Brussels and Amsterdam, going on to sing Strauss’s Four Last Songs in Vienna conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. Her festival appearances include Aix-en-Provence, The Proms, Tanglewood, Edinburgh and Salzburg. She has worked with many distinguished conductors including Georges Prêtre, Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Georg Solti, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Claudio Abbado, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Charles Mackerras, and Seiji Ozawa.
Judith has appeared on television all over the world and has a discography of more than 30 recordings including Troilus and Cressida, conducted by Richard Hickox, which won Gramophone Magazine’s Opera of the Year. Her latest recordings are Il Segreto di Susanna with the Oviedo Filarmonia under Friedrich Haider and the title role in Mercadante’s Maria Stuarda, Regina di Scozia for Opera Rara.
In 2004 she sang the title role Madama Butterfly in a new production, staged for her by Colin Graham, at the Minnesota Opera. More recently she has sung Gilda for ENO, Elvira I Puritani with Chelsea Opera Group, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem in Florence under Stefan Anton Reck, a repeat of her critically acclaimed performance of Madame Mao Nixon in China for the Greek National Opera, Catherine La jolie fille de Perth with Chelsea Opera Group, Britten’s War Requiem and Mahler’s 8th Symphony at the Three Choirs Festival, Parasha in Stravinsky’s Mavra in Athens and Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Bergen Philharmonic. Other appearances have included Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony in Gloucester Cathedral, La Fee Cendrillon for Chelsea Opera Group and Baroness Freimann Der Wildschütz at the Buxton Festival. Recent engagements include a return to Finnish National Opera for Elisabetta Don Carlo, further performances of Madama Butterfly for WNO, Mathilde Guillaume Tell at the Rossini in Wildbad Belcanto Festival, title role in the new production of Maria Stuarda for Welsh National Opera, Desdemona Otello (Act 3) in a Verdi Concert at Bridgewater Hall with the Hallé Orchestra (Mark Elder), Ellen Orford Peter Grimes for ENO (Gardner) and Shakespeare in Concert with Vlaamse Opera (Jurowski) including excerpts from Verdi’s Otello, a series of bel canto concerts based on the works of Sir Walter Scott for Scottish Opera, Elgar Spirit of Englandin Chester Cathedral and 1st Soprano (Magna Peccatrix) in Mahler 8th Symphony with Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall (Salonen).
Recent engagements include Mrs Julian Owen Wingrave for Opéra National de Lorraine, Nancy, Four Last Songs in Aberdeen, masterclasses in China, Glagolitic Mass with Bergen Philharmonic (Ed Gardner), a new commission, Arctic Elegy with the University of Aberdeen, Ellen Orford in the Icelandic premiere of Peter Grimes at the Reykjavik Arts Festival with Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, Elijah with the RLPO (Petrenko), Brahms Requiem in Aberdeen, Ellen Orford Peter Grimes for the Deutsche Oper, Berlin (Runnicles) and Katerina The Greek Passion for Graz Opera.
Engagements in 2017 include 1st Soprano Mahler 8th Symphony with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Vladimir Jurowski) at the Royal Festival Hall, title role Madama Butterfly for Welsh National Opera, Mendelssohn St Paul at the Three Choirs Festival and Rosalinde Die Fledermaus for Welsh National Opera.
Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version.
Live recording from Rossini in Wildbad Festival with Michael Spyres (Arnoldo), Judith Howarth (Mathilde) and Andrew Foster-Williams (Tell). Antonino Fogliani conducts Virtuosi Brunensis
Elgar – SPIRIT OF ENGLAND
Judith Howarth (soprano) with the London Symphony Chorus and Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by John Wilson
Mercadante – I NORMANNI A PARIGI
With Judith Howarth (Berta), Barry Banks (Odone), Riccardo Novaro (Ordamante) and Katarina Karneus (Orvina) with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Stuart Stratford
OPERA RARA (2010)
Mendelssohn – A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
With Judith Howarth and Eirian James. Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Jaime Laredo
Mercadante – MARIA STUARDA, REGINA DI SCOZIA
With Judith Howarth (Maria), Jennifer Larmore (Olfredo), Colin Lee (Ormondo) and Pauls Putnins (Ferrondo) with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Antonello Allemandi
OPERA RARA (2007)
Wolf-Ferrari – IL SEGRETO DI SUSANNA
With Judith Howarth (Susanna), Angel Odena (Count Gil) with Oviedo Philharmonia conducted by Friedrich Haider
R. Strauss – THE COMPLETE ORCHESTRAL SONGS
With Judith Howarth, Adrianne Pieczonka, Edita Gruberova (sopranos), Peter Straka (tenor), Bo Skovhus (baritone) and Kurt Moll (bass) with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice conducted by Friedrich Haider
Poulenc – STABAT MATER (DVD)
With Judith Howarth (soprano) and the Cambridge Choirs of St Johns, Clare and Gonville & Caius conducted by Christopher Robinson