Suzanne Rigden



Suzanne Rigden


Canadian soprano Suzanne Rigden is making her mark on the International stage with her “remarkable gift for stratospheric coloratura” and witty “comic genius.” Equally at home in operatic, light operatic and music theatre repertoire, Ms. Rigden recently work-shopped the role of Terry’s sister in the Marathon of Hope with Drayton Entertainment. She shone in the role of Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Company of Middlebury, Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with Pacific Opera Victoria and Queen of the Night in La Flûte Enchantée with Festival Opéra de Ste-Eustache. The critics were unanimous in underlining her magical performance. “Suzanne Rigden, pert and personable as the worldly Zerbinetta, has a gleaming, cleanly articulate coloratura sound, and she nails her huge, dazzlingly virtuosic recitative and aria, which ranges up to high E.”

During the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Rigden rejoined the Victoria Symphony for Carmina Burana, appeared in Haydn’s Nelson Mass with NW Florida College, as Gilda in Rigoletto with the Maritime Concert Opera, and Danica in Svadba with l’Opéra de Montréal. Ms. Rigden reprises the role of Serpetta in La finta giardiniera for Opera Nova Scotia, a role she first sang with the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera. Also in her future are Musetta in La boheme for Stone Opera in Berlin, Lisa in Gräfin Mariza for Pacific Opera Victoria and concerts in the Maritimes.

After a rewarding summer at Tanglewood, Ms. Rigden took on the role of Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance for Drayton Entertainment in the fall of 2015, followed by A Viennese New Year’s Gala for the Victoria Symphony, Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Arbor Opera Theater in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Pacific Opera Victoria.

At the 2014 Spazio Musica competition in Orvieto, Ms. Rigden won the Audience Choice Award and was overall Silver Medalist. She also took First Place, Artist Division, winning the Todd Duncan Legacy Award at the Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition for the National Opera Association. Further engagements for Ms. Rigden for the 2014-2015 season included the role of Adele in Die Fledermaus with Vancouver Opera, as well as Maritime Concert Opera, her debut as Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Opera Nova Scotia, and the role of Elvira in L’italiana in Algeri with Opera Company of Middlebury. Last spring she toured China with Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, visiting fourteen cities.

A graduate of l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, Ms Rigden caught attention in the role of Sophie in Werther at Salle Wilfrid Pelletier and also appeared in their productions of Rigoletto, Tosca, and Die Zauberflöte. She sang Asprano in Montezuma with Ensemble Caprice at the Montreal Baroque Festival, Fire and Nightingale in l’Enfant et les Sortilèges with ICAV Montréal and as a recitalist, appeared with the Dartmouth Community Concert Series.

Recent seasons have included a tour of Carmen singing Frasquita with Jeunesses Musicales du Canada, a role she also played in Usti nad Laben, Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Nova Scotia, and a return to Merola Opera Center in San Francisco to sing Lady with a Hand Mirror from Argento’s Postcard from Morocco and cover Serpetta in La Finta Giardiniera. The previous season she performed the role of Morgana in Alcina with the Pocket Opera of New York and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco. Ms. Rigden covered the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte with l’Opéra de Montréal while performing First Spirit, and sang Gertrude in André Gagnon’s Nelligan, produced by Atelier lyrique.

The Nova Scotia native has performed internationally, particularly in North America, Europe, and Tel Aviv, where she played the role of Marie in La Fille du Régiment with the International Vocal Arts Institute (IVAI). She has participated in international competitions and was semi-finalist at the International Singing Competition in Marmande (France), Semi-Finalist in the Ningo International Vocal Competition (China), and received the Award for a Canadian at the George London Competition in New York. She also received the Hariclea Darclée Michael Buruiana awards, and both the Audience Appreciation and First Encouragement Awards at the Regional Met Auditions Competition in Seattle, WA.

In concert, Ms. Rigden has been heard with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Orchestre Metropolitain du Grand Montréal, Ensemble Caprice, Orchestra London, Symphony Nova Scotia, Newfoundland Symphony and Ústí nad Labem Orchestra, Czech Republic.

September 2018


Argento Lady with a Hand Mirror POSTCARD FROM MOROCCO
Bizet Frasquite CARMEN
Burrit Countess Tatiana Blavinskeya DREAM HEALER
Burry Ingvildur/The Puffin THE VINLAND TRAVELLER
Gagnon Gertrude NELLIGAN
Handel Morgana ALCINA
Haydn Don Ettore LA CANTERINA
Mozart Zerlina DON GIOVANNI
  Queen of the Night DIE ZAUBERFLOTE
Ravel Princess/Chatte/Rainette/Rossignol/Feu L’ENFANT ET LES SORTILEGES
Strauss, J. Adele DIE FLEDERMAUS
Strauss, R. Zerbinetta ARIADNE AUF NAXOS


Bach Mass in B minor
  Weichet Nur, BWV 202
Fauré Requiem
Handel Messiah
Haydn Die Schopfung
Mozart Mass in C minor
Vesperae solennes de confessore
Exultate Jubilate, K. 165
Orff Carmina Burana
Pergolesi Stabat Mater
Vivaldi Gloria

Suzanne Rigden, as Zerbinetta in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Victoria, BC

“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, which ranges up to high E.”  (Kevin Bazzana – Times Colonist, February 2014)


Suzanne Rigden, as Rosina in Merola Opera’s Il Barbiere di Seviglia, San Francisco

“As Rosina, soprano Suzanne Rigden revealed a remarkable gift for stratospheric coloratura.  She larded her showpiece aria, “Una voce poco fa,” with a wealth of impeccable passagework that started high and then just kept going higher, with pointed, note-perfect placement.”  (Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, August 2011)


“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, August 2011)


“Nary a note of ornamentation was missing from Suzanne Ridgen’s rivulets of notes pulsating forward giving wit and intelligence to a lovely Rosina.” (Cy Ashley Webb, August 2011)


“Suzanne Rigden’s Rosina jumped through all of her virtuoso hoops without ever showing a sign of strain.” (Stephen Smoliar, SF Classical Music Examiner, August 5, 2011)


“Suzanne Rigden (Rosina) has a dizzying ability to sing high notes, her coloratura technique is impressive.”

“Suzanne Rigden ripped those coloratura notes (atop a cluttered table no less) with beauty.”

(The Opera Tattler, August 2011)

“The lovely Suzanne Rigden led the show as Rosina.  Her bright, clear soprano accurately spanned the role’s wide range as she projected the girl’s lively, defiant character with real conviction.  She sang with impressive accomplishment and genuine promise, and found a warm reception here.”  (John Bender, Opera Canada, Winter 2011)


Suzanne Rigden, as Girl with a Hand Mirror in Merola Opera’s Postcard from Morocco, San Francisco

“Argento’s score provides the vocalists with many opportunities for stunning virtuoso turns.  We have a “Lady with a Hand Mirror” given a coloratura soprano part, executed last night by Suzanne Rigden with dazzling panache.”  (Stephen Smoliar, Examiner, July 2012)


Suzanne Rigden, Soprano Soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Orchestra London & Pro Musica

“Suzanne Rigden gave a poised performance and was especially powerful in her solo movement “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.”  Her sound was bright and flexible while she maintained excellent diction.”  (Marina Opitz, Ontario Arts Review, December 2011)


“Reste à donner le nom de la perle de l’après-midi: la soprano colorature Suzanne Rigden, charme fou, présence joviale et assurance étonnante. Ses vocalises de la Reine de la Nuit étaient comme des flèches, avec un placement de voix parfait. Son Olympia fut fort drôle et juste.”  (Le Devoir par Christophe Huss, décembre 2009)

“Suzanne Rigden, with her PONY debut in the role of Morgana, sang confidently, her gorgeous high notes ringing with a special spin.  Her coloratura moved easily, … her acting was concise and believable.” (Kate Williams, New York Opera Review, “Astroturf Alcina,” Monday, March 21, 2011)


“Suzanne Rigden has a bright, clear high soprano, which she used to advantage, adding extra appoggiaturas in Morgana’s aria from Alcina” (La Scena Musicale, April 8, 2011)

La soprano canadienne Suzanne Rigden s’illustre sur les scènes internationales par son « don extraordinaire pour les vocalises éclatantes » et un « remarquable sens du comique ».

Elle a brillé dans les rôles de Zerbinetta (ARIADNE AUF NAXOS) au Pacific Opera et de la Reine de la Nuit  (DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE) au Festival Opéra de Saint-Eustache. Les critiques unanimes ont souligné sa prestation magistrale : « Suzanne Rigden, qui incarne une Zerbinetta attachante et aguichante, possède un son de colorature brillant et articulé. Elle interprète de manière éblouissante le récitatif et l’air d’une grande virtuosité, qui s’étire jusquau contre mi. »

Elle compte parmi ses engagements récents le rôle d’ Adèle  (DIE FLEDERMAUS) à l’Opéra de Vancouver ainsi qu’au Maritime Concert Opera, Tytania  (MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM) avec l’Opéra Pacifique de Victoria, Blondchen (DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL) avec l’Orchestre Symphonique de Ann Arbor Michigan, Mabel  (PIRATES OF PENZANCE) avec Drayton Entertainment, un concert de la nouvelle année viennoise avec l’Orchestre Symphonique de Victoria et une tournée de concerts en Chine. La reine de la nuit (DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE) avec la Compagnie d’opéra de Middlebury. Elle a gagné le Premier prix du Concours de l’Association Nationale d’Opéra en 2015 et le Premier prix des femmes ainsi que le Choix du publique à Spazio Musica en Italie en 2014. 

Prochainement, on pourra entendre Suzanne chanter CARMINA BURANA avec l’Orchestre Symphonique de Victoria ainsi que en Floride dans le LORD NELSON MASS de Haydn. Elle chantera le rôle de Gilda (RIGOLETTO) en tournée avec le Maritime Concert Opera et se produira NONOPERA une première mondiale en Septembre avec Concerts Noncerto composé par Matthias Maute.

Récemment diplômée de l’Atelier Lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, Suzanne a chanté le rôle de Sophie (WERTHER), a participé à une tournée québécoise avec le spectacle Aleacanto et est apparue dans les opéras RIGOLETTO, TOSCA et DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE. Pendant la saison 2013-2014 Suzanne a également chanté en concert des scènes de LAKMÉ et MIGNON et aussi le rôle de Zerlina (DON GIOVANNI) avec l’Opéra de la Nouvelle-Écosse. Elle a chanté Asprano (MOTEZUMA) avec Ensemble Caprice et donné un recital dans le cadre du Dartmouth Community Concert Series.

Au cours des dernières saisons, on a pu l’entendre chanter Frasquita (CARMEN) lors d’une tournée avec les Jeunesses Musicales du Canada et Blondchen (DIE ENTFÜHRUNG AUS DEM SERAIL) avec l’Opéra de Nouvelle Écosse. Elle a effectué un retour au Merola Opera Centre à San Francisco pour y interpréter Lady with a hand mirror de l’opéra (POSTCARD FROM MOROCCO) ainsi que la doublure de Serpetta (LA FINTA GIARDINIERA). Lors de la saison précédente, elle fut Morgana  (ALCINA) avec Pocket Opera à New York et Rosina  (IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA), au Merola Centre à San Francisco. Auparavant à l’Opéra de Montréal, Suzanne a été la doublure de la Reine de la Nuit et a chanté Gertrude dans NELLIGAN, un opéra d’André Gagnon produit par l’Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal.

Suzanne s’est illustrée sur la scène internationale, notamment en Amérique du Nord et en Israël, à Tel Aviv, où elle a interprété le rôle de Marie dans LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT avec l’Institut International d’Art Vocal (IVAI) en juillet 2010. Elle fut demi-finaliste au Concours international de chant de Marmande en 2010 et 2012, a été récipiendaire du prix lyrique Hariclea Darclée-Michel Buruiana des Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques à deux reprises (2009 et 2012) et a remporté le prix du public lors des auditions régionales du Met Competition (2009).

Février 2017


Messiah with Symphony Nova Scotia
Soprano Suzanne Rigden appears as the soprano soloist in the Mozart arrangement of Handel’s Messiah with Symphony Nova Scotia. Performances run December 21 & 22, 2017 at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Halifax



“Tornami a vagheggiar” from Alcina by Handel


L’une d’Avril by Francis Poulenc


 “Der Hölle Rache” Queen of the Night from Die Zauberflöte by Mozart


“Je suis Titania” from Mignon by Thomas


“Regret” by Debussy

“Clair du lune” by Fauré 

“Je t’aime” by Aboulker