Susan Bullock was born in Cheshire in 1958 and trained at Royal Holloway, the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio; early successes included the 1984 Kathleen Ferrier Award. At the beginning of her career she sang heavy lyric and spinto roles such as Janacek’s Jenůfa and Katya Kabanova, Madama Butterfly, and Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello, but is now established as one of the world’s leading dramatic sopranos: her repertoire includes Strauss’s Elektra (in which she debuted at the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala) and Salome, the title-role in Puccini’s La fanciulla del West, Marie in Berg’s Wozzeck (her first role at Covent Garden), and especially Brünnhilde, which she sang in Covent Garden’s 2012 Ring Cycle. (She also performed the Immolation Scene at the Last Night of the Proms in 2011).
Bullock’s discography includes Salome on Sir Charles Mackerras’s English-language recording from 2007 (‘she keeps the meaning clear even when riding the orchestra in her love-death’ – BBC Music Magazine), Brünnhilde on Sir Mark Elder’s 2011 recording of Die Walküre with the Hallé and Sebastian Weigle’s Frankfurt Ring Cycle on Oehms, Lady Billows on Richard Hickox’s Albert Herring, and the title-role in Britten’s Gloriana from Covent Garden (available on DVD and Blu-ray).
She was made a CBE in 2014.