Lass from Inverbeg is revelation at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House
Loch Lomond’s Lee Bisset in some of her many successful opera roles.
By Lizzie Healey
Loch Lomondside-born soprano had “a whirlwind of a day” this week when she stepped in to make her role and house debut as Liza in the Queen of Spades at the Public General at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Critic Nicola Christie, of The Independent, wrote: “Bisset was a revelation, her mesmerising voice fired by a passion and vitality that were overwhelming.”
The beautiful Bisset is establishing a reputation for her vocal stamina and versatility, and for the passion, commitment and sincerity of her acting.
Born and brought up at Inverbeg, where her parents, Jack and Jennifer, owned the popular Inn, Lee studied first at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, before moving to Rimini, Italy where she studied privately for several years.
On returning to the UK she completed her post-graduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Opera Studio, where she was sponsored by English National Opera.
Puccini, Wagner and Janáček are at the core of Lee’s repertoire. For English National Opera she sang Mimì La bohème, and more recently Tosca has become a staple, a role that she has sung in the UK for Northern Ireland Opera, and in the US for Opera Memphis and Opera Omaha. She returned to North America to debut the role of Minnie in La Fanciulla del West for Opera Omaha. She has sung the title roles in Kat’a Kabanova, for Longborough Festival Opera, and Jenůfa for Scottish Opera. In the Wagnerian repertoire she has sung Isolde Tristan und Isolde for Longborough Festival Opera, Sieglinde Die Walker both for the Theatro Municipal, São Paulo and for Opera North, also for Opera North FreiaDas Rheingold and Dritte Norn Götterdämmerung. She sang Senta Der fliegende Holländer for the Opera de Bellas Artes, Mexico City as well as covering the role for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Other repertoire includes Leonore Fidelio and Lady MacbethMacbeth for Dorset Festival Opera and contemporary works Five:15 for Scottish Opera.
In concert Lee has performed New Year concerts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Wagner excerpts for the Teatro San Pedro (São Paulo), Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Orquesta Clásica Santa Cecilia in Madrid and Seville, Mahler’s 8th Symphony at the Leeds International Concert Season, and Sibelius songs with the Orchestra of Opera North.
This season Lee sings Tosca for Opera Omaha and Chimène Le Cid (Massenet) for Dorset Opera Festival as well as covering Katerina Lady MacBeth of Mtsenk at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She is the soprano soloist in performances and a recording of A Symphony of Trees, a major new work by the Belgian composer Piet Swerts, with the Symfonieorkest van Vlaanderen in Ypres.
Stuart Skelton and Lee Bisset – Liebesnacht from ‘Tristan und Isolde’.