Linda Richardson was born in Cheshire and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she was a Peter Moores Foundation Scholar and winner of the Frederic Cox Award. She completed her studies at the National Opera Studio.
Highlights in recent seasons include Violetta La traviata, Cio-Cio San Madama Butterfly,the title role Anna Bolena, Amaltea Mosè in Egitto, and Elvira I puritani all for Welsh National Opera and the title role in Anna Bolena for Longborough Festival Opera.
An English National Opera Company Principal between 1997 and 2005, her roles there included Virtue The Coronation of Poppea, Fiordiligi Così fan tutte, Lauretta Gianni Schicchi, Micaela Carmen, Gretel Hansel and Gretel,Gilda Rigoletto, Zerlina Don Giovanni, Sophie Der Rosenkavalier, Mimì La bohème, title roles The Fairy Queen and Alcina, Violetta La traviata, Woglinde Das Rhinegold, Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Donna Anna Don Giovanni.
Roles elsewhere include Karolka Jenůfa, Mimì, Nannetta Falstaff, Pamina Die Zauberflöte, Violetta and Gilda (Opera North); Lisetta La Vera Constanza (Garsington Opera); Norina Don Pasquale (Clonter Opera), Fairy Queen in Barcelona; First Niece Peter Grimes (Dutch National Opera); Amina La Sonnambula and Alice Falstaff (Opera Holland Park); Countess Le nozze di Figaro throughout UK and France (Diva Opera), Katya Kabanova (ETO); Alice Falstaff and Cio-Cio San Madama Butterfly (Longborough Festival Opera) and Mrs Coyle Owen Wingrave (Nuremburg International Chamber Music Festival).
She performs extensively on the oratorio and concert platform, and is a frequent recitalist, having sung at the Newbury, Three Choirs and Arundel Festivals. She was a regular soloist with the English Haydn Festival where she sang in world and British premieres of Haydn’s unknown works.
Other concert work includes Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem (Royal Northern Sinfonia); Handel Messiah (English Chamber Orchestra) and Britten Les Illuminations (Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra). Recent concerts include an Italian Gala (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Carl Davis), Orff Carmina Burana at the Royal Festival Hall. Broadcasts include Friday Night is Music Night on BBC Radio 2 and Annie in Jonathan Dove’s TV opera When She Died on Channel 4. Recordings include Hearts and Flowers, a collection of Victorian Parlour Songs, and Oscar Un ballo in maschera for Chandos.
Anna Bolena / Longborough Festival Opera / 2019
"It says Anna Bolena on the tin, and boy, Anne Boleyn was what we got. Richardson delivered a central performance of compelling subtlety and emotional realism. As her character’s arrogance turned to disbelief, defiance and finally delusion, Richardson’s voice shaded almost by the phrase from fragility to steely strength. Defiant snarls uncoiled into glowing richness, and sudden, magnesium flashes of coloratura threw whole ensembles into bold profile… Henry and Jane’s wedding march was a raucous leer of hollow triumph. And Richardson found yet another new vocal colour before the final chop: a haunting, veiled sound, glowing from within, as the unhappy Anne escapes into delusion.”
(The Arts Desk)
"Linda Richardson in the title role as the technical prowess she demonstrates underlies her ability to make her soprano sound electric as it conveys all of the Queen’s anxiety and emotion.”
Violetta / La traviata / Welsh National Opera / 2018
“…utterly believable and genuinely moving…”
(Seen & Heard International)
"Linda Richardson’s Violetta is sung with assurance..."
Cio-Cio san / Madama Butterfly / Welsh National Opera / 2017
“Linda Richardson was vocally and histrionically outstanding in the title role, her voice soaring or agonising as the words and situations required; her acted portrayal matching her vocal strengths.”
(Seen & Heard International)