“Carolyn Sampson, whose voice and presence are always recognisable no matter what her disguise, provides three blissful moments of transcendence. The first with her paean to sleep…the second her harvest to love…the third being a heart-stopping performance of ‘O, let me weep.”
Equally at home on the concert and opera stages, Carolyn Sampson has enjoyed notable successes in the UK as well as throughout Europe and the US.
Recent and future highlights include:
- Mélisande – Debussy Pelléas et Mélisande – Scottish Opera – Stuart Stratford
- Minnesota Orchestra – Mahler Symphony No. 4 – in concert and on disc for BIS Records
- Handel Agrippina condotta a morire – Cantata HWV 110 – Budapest Festival Orchestra – Midori Seiler
- Tours of Japan and Europe with Bach Collegium Japan – Masaaki Suzuki
- Bernstein Kaddish – Tonkunstler Orchestra – Pablo Heras-Casado
- Recitals with Joseph Middleton at Lincoln Centre New York and San Francisco, Wigmore Hall, Oper Frankfurt, Japan, Concertgebouw, Vienna Konserthaus
On the opera stage her roles for English National Opera have included the title role in Semele and Pamina in The Magic Flute. For Glyndebourne Festival Opera she sang various roles in Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, now released on DVD. In 2012 she sang Anne Truelove The Rake’s Progress in Sir David McVicar’s new production for Scottish Opera. Internationally she has appeared at Opéra de Paris, Opéra de Lille, Opéra de Montpellier and Opéra National du Rhin. She also sang the title role in Lully’s Psyché for the Boston Early Music Festival, which was released on CD and was subsequently nominated for a Grammy in 2008. Earlier this season she debuted the role of Mélisande Pelléas and Mélisande for Sir David McVicar’s new production at Scottish Opera.
Carolyn Sampson’s numerous concert engagements in the UK have included regular appearances at the BBC Proms and with orchestras including The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The English Concert, Bach Collegium Japan, Britten Sinfonia and The Sixteen. She is a frequent guest with the Hallé and has performed with City of London Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras.
In Europe her many appearances have included concerts with Bergen Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerische Rundfunk, WDR Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Gürzenich Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra.
In the US Carolyn Sampson has featured as soloist with San Francisco Symphony, Boston Symphony, Detroit Symphony, St Paul Chamber Orchestra and is a regular guest at the Mostly Mozart Festival. In October 2013 she made her Carnegie Hall recital debut to a sold-out audience in the Weill Recital Hall, and this season will sing with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Markus Stenz.
Carolyn works with conductors such as Sir Mark Elder, Markus Stenz, Ivor Bolton, Philippe Herreweghe, Harry Bicket, Trevor Pinnock, Riccardo Chailly, Louis Langrée, Harry Christophers, Robert King and William Christie.
A consummate recitalist, Carolyn Sampson appears regularly at the Wigmore Hall where a recital of lute songs with Matthew Wadsworth was recorded on the Wigmore Live label and released to huge critical acclaim. She has given regular recitals at the Saintes and Aldeburgh Festivals as well as the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. In the 14/15 season Carolyn was a “featured artist” at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Carolyn has built up a partnership with the pianist Joseph Middleton over recent years. Her debut song recital disc, ‘Fleurs’, with Joseph was released early in 2015 featuring songs by composers from Purcell to Britten, and was nominated in the solo vocal category of the Gramophone Awards. They recently released their second recital disc together, ‘A Verlaine Songbook’, exploring settings of the poetry of Paul Verlaine for BIS Records.
Carolyn’s Harmonia Mundi recording of Poulenc’s Stabat Mater and Sept Répons de Ténèbres was awarded the Choc de l’Année Classica 2014. Other recordings include Mozart’s Requiem with Bach Collegium Japan and her recording of Purcell songs for BIS which was selected as Editor’s Choice in the December 2007 issue of Gramophone Magazine. Her many recordings for Hyperion with The King’s Consort include a highly acclaimed CD of Mozart sacred music ‘Exsultate jubilate’ which was selected as BBC Music Magazine’s “Record of the Month” and was also the recipient of an ECHO Award. She recorded a highly-acclaimed CD of Stravinsky’s Les Noces and Mass for Harmonia Mundi and Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly for the Decca label.
Her recent recording with Ex Cathedra on the Hyperion label, ‘A French Baroque Diva’ – celebrating Marie Fel, a star soprano of Rameau’s time won the recital award in the 2015 Gramophone Awards.
Recent and future highlights include Carolyn’s debut with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra, concert performances of Semele with Concerto Köln and Ivor Bolton, recordings and concerts with both Bach Collegium Japan and the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra with Midori Seiler, two BBC Prom 2016 performances (Mozart’s Mass in C minor with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Ilan Volkov, and a duet programme with Iestyn Davies), a tour of Orlando (Dorinda) with the English Concert, concerts with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, as well as further recording plans and recitals with Joseph Middleton and Matt Wadsworth including the Lincoln Centre New York, San Francisco, Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and Japan.