Hailed as ‘one to listen out for’ (The Guardian), Soprano Nardus Williams is establishing herself as one of the most exciting British singers of her generation. Winner of the Rising Talent award at the 2022 International Opera Awards, upcoming highlights of the 2022/23 season include a return to the Glyndebourne tour as Countess Le Nozze di Figaro after resounding success this summer, and also to the festival as Adina L’elisir d’amore. She will make her house and role debut as Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Opéra de Rouen Normandie, and on the concert platform, return to the London Handel Festival, Wigmore Hall, perform a programme of Handel with the Dunedin Consort, and Tippett A Child of Our Time with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. A former English National Opera Harewood Artist, Williams was recently nominated for the Times Breakthrough Award at The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2022 and in the Young Artist category for the RPS Awards 2023.
Recent highlights for Williams include Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress for the Glyndebourne Tour, her house debut as Mimi La Boheme for Opera Vlaanderen, Fiordiligi Cosi fan tutte for English National Opera, Countess Le Nozze di Figaro for Opera Holland Park, Mimi La Boheme for English National Opera's Drive & Live series, Ciboulette In The Market for Love for the Glyndebourne Tour, the world premiere of Dido's Ghost a co-commission with the Dunedin Consort, Mahogany Opera & The Barbican, Micaëla Carmen at English National Opera, Mimi La boheme and Donna Anna Don Giovanni for Houston Grand Opera, Armida Rinaldo (cover) and Adina L'elisir d'amore (cover) at Glyndbourne Festival Opera, Governess The Turn of the Screw for Garsington Opera (cover), the role of Martha in a new commission Wake by Giorgio Battistelli for Birmingham Opera Company directed by Graham Vick, and Countess (cover) The Marriage of Figaro for English National Opera. Further roles have included Maggie/Marjana in the world premiere of Lewis Murphy Belongings for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Donna Elvira Don Giovanni for Opera Holland Park, Mimi La boheme and Donna Anna Don Giovanni for Houston Grand Opera and Fox in Janáček The Cunning Little Vixen at the Royal College of Music. Williams was also invited to perform with Welsh National Opera and Nevill Holt Opera.
On the concert and recital platform, recent and upcoming highlights include recitals for Oxford Lieder, Leeds Lieder, Wigmore Hall, St. John’s Smith Square, her BBC Proms debut with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Ben Glassberg, and Handel’s Messiah at King’s Place and English National Opera.
Williams was a member of the Houston Opera Studio for the 2018/19 season and is a former Jerwood Young Artist at Glyndebourne. Williams trained at the International Opera School at the Royal College of Music where she was the sole recipient of the prestigious Kiri Te Kanawa Scholarship. Other awards and prizes include the Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards First Prize and Audience Prize (2016).
Ellen Orford Peter Grimes
Governess The Turn of the Screw
Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Title Role Louise
Adina L'elisir d'amore
Angel / Mary Magdalene La resurrezione
Cleopatra Giulio Cesare
Title Role Alcina
Title Role Rodelinda
Fox The Cunning Little Vixen
La Musica Orfeo
Poppea L'incoronazione di Poppea
Fiordiligi Così fan tutte
Pamina Die Zauberflöte
Donna Anna / Donna Elvira Don Giovanni
Countess Le Nozze di Figaro
Belinda / Dido Dido and Aeneas
Magda La Rondine
Mimí, Musetta La bohème
Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress
B Minor Mass
St Matthew Passion
C Minor Mass
Serenade to Music
Vagaus Juditha triumphans
The cut-through moments come from Williams, who sings her two arias with a knockout combination of melting vulnerability and lustrous ardour. In the sort of show that will gather pep as the run continues, she is already fully launched.
Nardus Williams, a soprano with a growing reputation and boundless appeal, returned as the Countess, with requisite dignity, grace and fire.
[Williams] presented a challenging programme which gave ample opportunity for us to appreciate her superbly controlled, sensuous soprano which has sheen and shimmer as well as real focus of tone.