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Carol's music career – main page

Modern, classical and cabaret

Carol Rowlands, mezzo soprano, as Kostelnicka in Janacek's Jenufa, touring in an education projectCarol in the role of Kostelnicka in Janacek's Jenufa, which she toured in an education production in 2006 for English Touring Opera.



Opera was Carol's first love and lay at the heart of her career, though she was also an accomplished cabaret singer, and in her early years as an opera singer she also worked regularly with The Moonlighters, appearing sometimess on the radio and TV.

After attending the Royal Northern College of Music, Carol started her career at Scottish Opera, and then went solo in the early 1980s.

Her solo career encompassed roles from Cavalli's Satirino (La Calisto) to Mozart's Marcellina; from Bizet's Carmen to Britten's Mrs. Grose; from Puccini's Suzuki to Stravinsky's Baba; from Birtwistle's Judy to Hosokawa's Goneril (Vision of Lear); and she worked with most of the major British companies as well as in Europe and the USA.

She was directed by many highly regarded names including Elijah Moshinsky, Nuria Espert, Phyllida Lloyd, Graham Vick, Richard Jones, David Freeman, David Alden and Stephen Langridge.

Her later work included Edward Rushton's Birds, Barks, Bones – A Trojan Trilogy at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, Mrs Sedley in Peter Grimes at The Reisopera, Netherlands, Mrs Grose in The Turn of the Screw, also at The Reisopera, Netherlands, and Babulenka in The Gamblers with Grange Park.

Carol appeared on the main stage at the Royal Opera House in 2010 in The Gambler, this time playing Lady Comme ci, Comme ├ža, and then returned to Covent Garden in 2013 in Gloriana, playing the small role of the London Housewife to great effect. She had further work lined up there.