“Her singing is exceptional for its consistency [...] invariably true in pitch and capable of a surprising range of dynamic variety – a perfect instrument of its kind. Every word she sings comes through clearly.”
Ruby Hughes began her musical studies as a cellist graduating from the Guildhall School of Music in London. She went on to study voice at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Munich and the Royal College of Music, London.
- Handel Theodora (title role) – Potsdamer Winteroper
- Mahler Symphony No. 2 – Minnesota Orchestra (concerts and recording) – Osmo Vänskä
- Recital ‘Songs for New Life & Love’ incl. Helen Grime ‘Bright Travellers’ (world premiere) – Wigmore Hall
- Handel Messiah and Bach Magnificat with NDR c. Andrew Manze; and Orchestra of Eighteenth Century c. Daniel Reuss
- ‘Handel’s Last Prima Donna: Guila Frasi’ with Laurence Cummings & OAE (Chandos Records, 2018)
- Concerts with Royal Northern Sinfonia, Academy of Ancient Music, The King’s Consort
Holder of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, Shortlisted for a 2014 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, Winner of both First Prize and the Audience Prize at the 2009 London Handel Singing Competition and a former BBC New Generation Artist, Ruby Hughes is the daughter of the celebrated Welsh ceramicist Elizabeth Fritsch.
She made her debut at Theater an der Wein in 2009 as Roggiero in Rossini’s Tancredi, returning as Fortuna in L’Incoronazione di Poppea. She has performed Euridice in L’Orfeo at Aix-en-Provence Festival, Sandrina L’infedelta delusa and Narcissa Philemon und Baucis at the Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, The Indian Queen at the Schwetzinger Festival, and Rose Maurrant Street Scene at the Opéra de Toulon.
In the UK she has performed major roles with English National Opera, Garsington Opera, The Opera Group, Music Theatre Wales and Scottish Opera. She also appeared in Sir Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of the St Matthew Passion at the National Theatre.
In concert, she has sung under conductors including Rinaldo Allesandrini, Ivor Bolton, Laurence Cummings, Thierry Fischer, HK Gruber, Pablo Heras Casado, Philippe Herreweghe, Rene Jacobs, Juanjo Mena, Gianandrea Noseda, Marc Minkowski, Hervé Niquet, Thomas Søndergård, John Storgårds, and Osmo Vanska to name a few, and with ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants, all the BBC Orchestras, Britten Sinfonia, Le Concert Spirituel, Concerto Koln, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Zurich Chamber Orchestra.
Festival appearances have included the Bach Fest Leipzig, BBC Proms, Cheltenham, Edinburgh International, La Folle Journée, Gent Festival OdeGand, Göttingen, Marlboro, Lockenhaus, Manchester International, Spitalfields, and West Cork.
She has broadcast & recorded extensively covering a wide range of repertoire including works by Bach, Barber, Berg, Britten, Crumb, Handel, Haydn, Mahler, Maxwell Davies, Macmillan, Mozart, Schubert & Schumann.
Ruby is a passionate recitalist & works closely with the pianists Julius Drake & Joseph Middleton. In 2016 she released her first solo recital disc ‘Nocturnal variations’, songs by Schubert, Mahler, Britten and Berg with pianist Joseph Middleton for the Champs Hill label, named BBC Music Magazine’s choice of the month. In the same month she appeared on the critically acclaimed disc ‘Purcell Songs Realised by Britten’ for the same label. A champion of women composers, she recently recorded ‘Heroines of Love and Loss’: a disc dedicated to ….17th century women composers for the BIS label, with long-term collaborator Jonas Nordberg, which was Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine, and was awarded a Diapason d’or. In 2018 she released a critically acclaimed disc for Chandos Records with the OAE and Laurence Cummings dedicated to Giulia Frasi, Handel’s lyric muse. In 2019 she releases an album for BIS of works by Mahler, Berg and Rhian Samuel with BBCNOW.
She made her US recital debut in 2015 with Julius Drake at The Frick Collection in New York and in 2017 made her Carnegie Hall recital debut with a commissioned song cycle by Huw Watkins. She recently performed and recorded Mahler Symphony No.2 with the Minnesota Symphony under Osmo Vanska for BIS Records.
Recent and future highlights include recitals at Wigmore Hall (including a new commission by Helen Grime), Newbury Spring, International Handel Festispiele Gottingen, Presteigne, West Cork, and 3 Choirs Festivals. In the UK concerts include those with the OAE, BBC Phil, BBC NOW, RLPO, Royal Northern Sinfonia and The King’s Consort and further afield a return to the RIAS Kammerkoor for performances of Purcell’s Fairy Queen, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder with Garry Walker and Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, a performance at the Vienna Konzerthaus with Quatuor Mosaiques, a tour with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, and the title role in Handel’s Theodora for Potsdamer Winteroper 2018.