Sir John Tomlinson and Susan Bullock CBE in conversation with Christopher Cook

Posted by on 9, Sep, 2020 in | Comments Off on Sir John Tomlinson and Susan Bullock CBE in conversation with Christopher Cook

  • Sir John Tomlinson and Susan Bullock CBE in conversation with Christopher Cook
    28 October 2020
    6:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Sir John Tomlinson and Susan Bullock CBE

in conversation with Christopher Cook


Susan Bullock CBE

Susan Bullock’s unique position as one of the world’s most sought-after British dramatic sopranos was recognised by the award of a CBE for Services to Opera in June 2014.

Of her most distinctive roles, Wagner’s Brünnhilde has garnered outstanding praise, leading Susan Bullock to become the first ever soprano to sing four consecutive cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Royal Opera House under Sir Antonio Pappano. She has also sung Brünnhilde in Frankfurt, Vienna, Berlin, Tokyo , Lisbon , Melbourne, Toronto and Taiwan. Appearances as Richard Strauss’ Elektra have brought her equal international acclaim, with performances at the Royal Opera House, La Scala Milan and the Metropolitan Opera among many other major theatres, resulting in collaborations with some of the world’s leading conductors including Fabio Luisi, Semyon Bychkov, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Mark Elder and Edo de Waart.

In recent seasons, Susan has begun to explore new repertoire with debuts last season as Klytaemnestra (Elektra) at Canadian Opera Company under Johannes Debus, the role of Liz Stride in the world premiere of Iain Bell’s Jack the Ripper for ENO; and she reprised her acclaimed portrayal of Mother in Mark Anthony-Turnage’s Greek at BAMafter a successful debut for Edinburgh International Festival and Scottish Opera the previous season. Further debuts in recent seasons include in the role of Kostelnička (Jenůfa) for Grange Park Opera, both Gertrude and The Witch (Hänsel und Gretel) for Opera North and Grange Park Opera; and Mrs Lovett (Sweeney Todd) for Houston Grand Opera. Last season included her debut as Mother in the European premier of Missy Mazzoli’s award winning Breaking the Waves for Scottish Opera at the Edinburgh Festival, a welcome return to the role of Mrs Lovett with Bergen National Opera, and Klytaemnestra in concert with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra under Kirill Karabits.

Future plans include a return to Frankfurt for Hänsel und Gretel and her debut as the Kabanicha in Janacek’s Katya Kabanova for the Canadian Opera in Toronto.



John Tomlinson was born in Lancashire. He gained a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering at Manchester University before winning a scholarship to the Royal Manchester College of Music.  He was awarded a C.B.E. in 1997 and knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2005. He was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Singer in 1991, 1998 and 2007 and in 2014 their Gold Medal.


John Tomlinson’s engagements include performances at La Scala, Milan, Rome, Barcelona, Geneva, Lisbon, Metropolitan Opera, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Tokyo, Opera Australia, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin (Deutsche Oper and Deutsche Staatsoper), Dresden, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Antwerp, and Bilbao and the Festivals of Bayreuth (where he sang for eighteen consecutive seasons), Orange, Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg, Edinburgh and the Maggio Musicale, Florence. He has sung regularly with English National Opera since 1974 and with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, since 1977 and has also appeared with all the other leading British opera companies. His repertoire includes Wotan DAS RHEINGOLD and DIE WALKÜRE, Wanderer SIEGFRIED, Hagen GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG,  Titurel and Gurnemanz PARSIFAL, King Marke TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, Heinrich LOHENGRIN, Hans Sachs DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG, Landgraf TANNHÄUSER, title role and Daland FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER, Baron Ochs DER ROSENKAVALIER, Boromeo PALESTRINA, Orestes ELEKTRA, Moses MOSES UND ARON, Green Knight in the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s GAWAIN, Claggart BILLY BUDD, Doctor WOZZECK, Rocco FIDELIO, King Philip and Grand Inquisitor DON CARLOS, Sarastro DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, Leporello and Commendatore DON GIOVANNI, Lindorf, Coppelius, Dr Miracle and Dapertutto LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN, Golaud and Arkel PELLÉAS ET MÉLISANDE, Boris Timofeyevich Ismailov LADY MACBETH OF MTSENSK, title role, Pimen and Varlaam BORIS GODUNOV, Ivan Susanin A LIFE FOR A TSAR, Fiesco SIMON BOCCANEGRA

, Tiresias OEDIPUS, Dosifey KHOVANSHCHINA, The General THE GAMBLER, Thomas à Becket MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL, Ivan Yaklovlevich, Newspaper Clerk and Doctor THE NOSE, Sergeant of Police THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE and title roles in  BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE, OBERTO, MOSE IN EGITTO, Priesterkönig in Jörg Widmann’s BABYLON, and the world premieres of Birtwistle’s THE MINOTAUR, Brett Dean’s LAST DAYS OF SOCRATES and  Ghost of Old Hamlet in the world premiere of Brett Dean’s HAMLET, Doctor Charles Conde in Thomas Ades’ EXTERMINATING ANGEL and the title role in THE MIKADO.

John Tomlinson has a large concert repertoire and has sung with all the leading British orchestras and in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Denmark and the U.S.A. He has made many recordings including Wotan, Wanderer, Hagen, Hans Sachs, Titurel, Don Alfonso COSÌ FAN TUTTE, Leporello, and title roles LE NOZZE DI FIGARO and BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE, Beethoven CHORAL SYMPHONY, MESSIAH, ACIS AND GALATEA and the Verdi REQUIEM. Videos include MARIA STUARDA, PETER GRIMES, GIULIO CESARE, RIGOLETTO, DAS RHEINGOLD, DIE WALKÜRE, SIEGFRIED and THE MINOTAUR.

Engagements in 2020 include Precipice at Grange Park Opera and concerts throughout the country (most of the season was lost to COVID-19) and future performances include returns to English National Opera, Paris Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Metropolitan Opera, New York.

This online event is free to all members (non-members £5).  Please register your interest below and you will be sent a Zoom link in good time for the lecture, probably during the previous day. (Please do not contact us for the link unless it has not been received immediately before the lecture is due to begin.) If you wish to make a donation, please do so via our website (see button to the right) or contact   (NOTE: Joint members intending to watch this lecture together only need to register once.)




Details to follow