Nuala Willis, Contralto

London born Nuala Willis works principally as a singer, spanning the worlds of opera, musical theatre and cabaret.

Starting out with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1977, she has since worked with all the major British Opera Companies, making her Covent Garden debut in 1986. She has since worked internationally with engagements all over Europe, in Canada and the USA., in rôles such as Herodias in SALOME, Klytemnestra in ELEKTRA, Filipievna and Mme. Larina in EUGENE ONEGIN, Jezibaba in RUSALKA, Ulrica in UN BALLO IN MASCHERA, Mistress Quickly in FALSTAFF, Widow Begbick in THE RISE AND FALL OF THE CITY OF MAHAGONY, as well as a host of character rôles.

Equally at home in Musical Theatre, she appeared in the Royal National Theatre’s production of Sondheim’s SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE and as the Queen of Hearts in the Carl Davis and John Wells adaptation of ALICE IN WONDERLAND at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. 

In 1993 she made her debut in the classic theatre, appearing in MEDEA in the famous production with Diana Rigg, which opened at the Almeida Theatre and then played in the West End and on Broadway.

A fruitful association with Jonathan Dove that started with Medea, continued through two Glyndebourne sponsored Community Operas, a major song-cycle, ALL THOSE WHO SLEEP TONIGHT, settings of poems by Vikram Seth, the immensely successful opera; FLIGHT, at the Glyndebourne Festival, a production that has also been hailed in Holland, Belgium and Australia, WHEN SHE DIED ; an opera written specially for television and THE ENCHANTED PIG; a musical fairy tale composed for the Young Vic Christmas show. 

Nuala’s interest in contemporary music has seen her feature in many world premieres in recent years, including Harrison Birtwistle’s THE SECOND MRS KONG, for the Glyndebourne Festival, Param Vir’s SNATCHED BY THE GODS and BROKEN STRINGS, his new piece ION, (Strasbourg and Berlin)  and Deirdre Gribbin’s admired first opera HEY PERSEPHONE, all at the Almeida and Aldeburgh Festivals.

For many years she has had her own Cabaret programme, which has taken her all over the British Isles and to the Cabaret Convention in New York.