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Praised for her “warm mezzo” (The Telegraph) and “velvet-voice” (Daily Telegraph), British-Spanish mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons recently made critically acclaimed house and role debuts at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Siébel in David McVicar's production of Faust and as Hel in the world premiere of Gavin Higgins The Monstrous Child at the Linbury Theatre.
Upcoming highlights of the 2020/21 season include her debut at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, performing in George Benjamin's critically acclaimed Lessons in Love and Violence. She will reprise the role with a return to Teatro Real, Madrid later in the season. Marta is delighted to perform the role of Miranda in Thomas Ades The Tempest at Barbican Hall, London, conducted by the composer and with the Britten Sinfonia. On the concert and recital platform, Marta will perform Wagner Wesendonck-Lieder at the Leman Lyriques Festival, Geneva, give a recital with Roger Vignoles at Fundacion Juan March, Madrid and is delighted to return to the Oxford Lieder Festival and Auditorio de Tenerife. Recent operatic highlights for Fontanals-Simmons include her house and role debut at English National Opera as Eurydice Woman in Daniel Kramer’s new production of Birtwisle’s The Mask of Orpheus, her house debut as Jennie Hildebrand in Weill Street Scene for Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Amando Le Grand Macabre with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Jennie Hildebrand Street Scene at the Teatro Real, Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro for Garsington Opera and at the Théâtre Champs Elysées, the title role La Cenerentola for Diva Opera, and Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly for the Glyndebourne Tour and for Grange Park Opera.
On the concert platform, recent highlights include the European premiere of Alasdair Nicolson Shadows on the Wall – Five Hauntings at the Barbican, Berlioz La Captive with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Verdi Requiem with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall, Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music with Sakari Oramo at the Last Night of the Proms, Mendelssohn Elijah with CBSO at Birmingham Symphony Hall, L’Enfant et les Sortilèges with Stéphane Denève and the Radio- Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, Mozart Requiem with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bach Mass in B Minor with Ryan Wigglesworth at the St Endellion Festival, Handel Messiah with Lawrence Cummings at the London Handel Festival, Stravinsky Les Noces at Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Haydn Harmoniemesse with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Fontanals-Simmons is a regular on the UK song festival scene and collaborates regularly with pianists including Roger Vignoles, Chris Glynn, Sholto Kynoch, Bengt Forsberg, Lana Bode, Simon Lepper, Libby Burgess and Iain Burnside.
In demand as an exciting new voice in Contemporary Music, Fontanals-Simmons has premiered the role of Ursula in the Royal Opera House / Glyndebourne co-production of Nothing by David Bruce, has collaborated, premiered and recorded a number of new song cycles, including that of Martin Suckling‘s The Tuning which won the Dorico Award at the Scottish Awards for New Music in 2020, and also Emily Howard, Robert Laidlow, Patricia Alessandrini, Benjamin Ellin & the UK writing duo Murphy&Attridge. With orchestra, Fontanals-Simmons has made premiere recordings of the late Jonathan Harvey‘s Songs of Li Po, Michael Hurd‘s The Phoenix & the Turtle and Michael Stimpson’s The Angry Garden.
Fontanals-Simmons graduated with distinction from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, where she won the prestigious Gold Medal. She was a Jerwood Artist at Glyndebourne Festival for the 2015/16 season.