Hilary Summers (Contralto)
Born: 1965, Newport, Wales
Artist's website: https://www.hilarysummers.com/
Welsh contralto Hilary Summers studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio, and specialises in baroque and contemporary repertoire; she created the multiple contralto roles in George Benjamin’s 2006 opera Into the Little Hill (available on CD from Nimbus), Miss Prism in Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest (released on NMC in 2014) and Art Banker in Michael Nyman’s Facing Goya, and also worked closely with the late Pierre Boulez, with whom she recorded a Grammy-winning account of Le Marteau sans maître in 2004. Other operatic roles include Mrs Sedley in Peter Grimes, Geneviève in Pélleas et Mélisande, Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress. Her discography includes Handel’s Serse, Flavio, Semele and Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno with Christian Curnyn and the Early Opera Company, Bianca on The Rape of Lucretia with the late Oliver Knussen (nominated for both BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone Awards), Little Buttercup on Richard Egarr’s HMS Pinafore, and the title role in Handel’s Orlando with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants.