Yvonne Howard

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Yvonne Howard studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and performs regularly with all the major UK opera companies. Early roles included the title role in La Cenerentola with English Touring Opera‚ Marcellina Le Nozze di Figaro with both Glyndebourne Festival and Touring Opera‚ and Fricka and Waltraute in the highly acclaimed City of Birmingham Touring Opera Ring Saga. She made her debut with the Royal Opera House‚ Covent Garden as Mercedes Carmen‚ and subsequent roles there have included Karolka Jenufa‚ Marcellina‚ 2nd & 3rd Lady Die Zauberflöte‚ Suzuki Madama Butterfly‚ Cornelia Giulio Cesare‚ Berta Il Barbière di Siviglia‚ Flower Maiden and the Heavenly Voice Parsifal‚ Ludmilla The Bartered Bride‚ Second Norn Der Ring des Nibelungen‚ Leonore Fidelio and Mother Hänsel und Gretel.

Engagements postponed or cancelled due to Covid include Mrs Grose The Turn of the Screw (Royal Opera), Marcellina The Marriage of Figaro (ENO) and Ruth The Pirates of Penzance (Charles Court Opera).

Recent and future engagements include Madame Larina Eugene Onegin, Mistress Quickly Falstaff and Ludmila The Bartered Bride (Garsington Opera)‚ Lady Sophy Utopia and Duchess Gondoliers (Scottish Opera), Mrs Grose The Turn of the Screw (Northern Ireland Opera), Rosa Mamai L’arlesiana, Norma and Ruth The Pirates of Penzance (Opera Holland Park)‚ Caesonia Caligula (English National Opera and Teatro Colón‚ Buenos Aires)‚ Lady Billows Albert Herring (Buxton Festival Opera)‚ Marcellina The Marriage of Figaro, Queen of the Fairies Iolanthe‚ Katisha The Mikado‚ Berta The Barber of Seville (English National Opera)‚ Spring Beauty Snow Maiden‚ Fricka Das Rheingold and Die Walküre‚ Auntie Peter Grimes (Opera North)‚ Nettie Carousel (Opera North and The Barbican‚ London)‚ Mother in the British premiere of Dove’s Monster in the Maze (LSO at the Barbican and in 2020 at The Grange Festival)‚ Dream of Gerontius (Lisbon), the title role in Holst’s Savitri with the CBSO and with Choros Chamber Choir, Bersi Andrea Chenier and Widow The Oprichnik (Chelsea Opera Group), Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the BBCSO at Dubai Opera House and Gilbert & Sullivan Gala Concerts with Tarantara Productions.

Further UK appearances include Verdi’s Lady Macbeth‚ Eboli Don Carlos‚ Tosca‚Maddalena Rigoletto‚ Evadne Troilus and Cressida‚ Meg Page Falstaff‚ Auntie Peter Grimes‚ Gertrude Romeo and Juliet‚ Mother in Dove’s Swanhunter‚ Mrs Grose Turn of the Screw and Hippolyta A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opera North)‚ Amastris Xerxes‚ Meg Page‚ Berta‚ Third Lady‚ Second Norn‚ Madam Larina‚ Marcellina and The Innkeeper Boris Godunov (ENO)‚ Mother Hänsel und Gretel and Mademoiselle Paturelle Vert-Vert (Garsington)‚ Norma (English Touring Opera)‚ Goffredo Rinaldo (Grange Park Opera)‚ Amneris Aida (Royal Albert Hall)‚ Laura La Gioconda‚ Sara Roberto Devereaux and Leonore Fidelio (Opera Holland Park)‚ Dejanira Hercules‚ Meg Page The Merry Wives of Windsor‚ Mab The Fair Maid of Perth‚ Mrs Noye Noye’s Fludde and Estelle/Emerance in Messager’s Veronique (Buxton Festival)‚ the title role in Cherubini’s Medee (Cadogan Hall) and Irene in Donizetti’s Belisario (Queen Elizabeth Hall)‚ both with Chelsea Opera Group‚ and Myrtle Knight Crew (Glyndebourne).

Engagements abroad have included Xerxes in Sao Paolo‚ Brazil‚ Die Walküre in Paris and Nantes‚ Falstaff and Suzuki Madama Butterfly in Tel Aviv‚ Eduige Rodelinda with Opera Theatre Company throughout Ireland‚ the UK and in New York‚ Azucena Il Trovatore in Ireland‚ Assunta The Saint of Bleecker Street at the Spoleto Festival‚ the title role in Telemaco with the English Bach Festival in London and Athens‚ Irene Theodora in Strasbourg and Azucena Il Trovatore with Den Jyske Opera‚ Denmark.

Concert and recital work has taken Yvonne to Japan‚ France‚ Spain‚ Scandinavia‚ Switzerland‚ USA and‚ of course‚ throughout Great Britain. She has received great critical acclaim for‚ in particular‚ her interpretation of the Angel in Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius‚ Verdi’s Requiem and the song cycles of Mahler and Berlioz as well as for her performance as Marilyn Klinghoffer in the TV film of John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer and in Roxanna Panufnik’s Beastly Tales with City of London Sinfonia. Recordings include Sieglinde Die Walküre with Sir Mark Elder (Hallé)‚ the Sweet Swan of Avon (Meridian)‚ Messiah (Arte Nova Classics)‚ Walton’s Troilus & Cressida‚ Moussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Smetana’s The Bartered Bride (Chandos).

Boyarina Morozova - The Oprichnik - Chelsea Opera Group

Chelsea Opera Group presented a strong cast and gave a performance that in many ways brought out the best in the opera.

Andrey's mother (she is simply Boyarina Morozova, we don't seem to get her Christian name) was perhaps the most rounded character in the opera. Her two long scenes really developed, and it helped that Yvonne Howard gave a poignant and mesmerising performance. In her first scene, she is lamenting their poverty, with God punishing them, but she is mistrustful of where her son has got his money from. Rightly so, in fact, and he lies, concealing that it comes from his joining the Oprichniks. Then in Act Three, she attempts to give succour to the fleeing Natalya, but all that is overridden by the appearance of Andrey with the Oprichniks, and the act ends with the mother cursing the son. A terrifically vicious moment from Howard, then she appears briefly at the end of the opera as Prince Vyazminsky gleefully shows her Andrey being executed.

Planet Hugill (March 2023)

as Morozova, Yvonne Howard was a class act with her final cry as she dies feeling especially impassioned.

Music OMH (March 2023)

Yvonne Howard was equallyconvincing as the implacable Morozova. Her gleaming mezzo embraced the role’s complexdemands with its mix of vengeful bitterness and maternal affection.

Musical America (March 2023)

Yvonne Howard visibly inhabited her vivid and powerful interpretation of the troubled Boyarinya

Classical Source (March 2023)

Andrey’s mother (she is simply Boyarina Morozova, we don’t seem to get her Christian name) was perhaps the most rounded character in the opera. Her two long scenes really developed, and it helped that Yvonne Howard gave a poignant and mesmerising performance. In her first scene, she is lamenting their poverty, with God punishing them, but she is mistrustful of where her son has got his money from. Rightly so, in fact, and he lies, concealing that it comes from his joining the Oprichniks. Then in Act Three, she attempts to give succour to the fleeing Natalya, but all that is overridden by the appearance of Andrey with the Oprichniks, and the act ends with the mother cursing the son. A terrifically vicious moment from Howard, then she appears briefly at the end of the opera as Prince Vyazminsky gleefully shows her Andrey being executed.

Opera Today (March 2023)

Gilbert & Sullivan Gala Concerts - Tarantara

While Yvonne Howard and Rebecca Bottone give outstanding renditions of comic classics.

London Theatre 1 (December 2022)

Bersi - Andrea Chenier - Chelsea Opera Group

In the role of Bersi, Maddalena’s maid, mezzo-soprano Yvonne Howard vividly proclaimed her revolutionary credentials in ‘Temer? Perchè’, the life-saving necessity of such ideological declarations emphasised by the urgent brass and timpani.

Opera Today (June 2022)

the well-loved Yvonne Howard was a fine Bersi (Maddalena’s maid).

Seen and Heard (June 2022)

Yvonne Howard was just as marvellous in the role of Bersi

Opera (August 2022)

Utopia - Scottish Opera

This allowed Yvonne Howard, liberated from her "mobile sofa" of a costume in The Gondoliers, to shine as the respectable Lady Sophy, responsible for her charges but also in love with the King.

BachTrack (October 2021)

Yvonne Howard, meanwhile, is outstanding and extraordinarily sympathetic as the principled Lady Sophy

The Guardian (April 2022)

The Gondoliers - Scottish Opera

Yvonne Howard as the Duchess was costumed in an outrageous pannier skirt requiring wheels at each end as it was as wide as a gondolier’s oar is long.

BachTrack (October 2021)

Yvonne Howard, who likely requires a license to operate her dress, maintains a smoothness in momentum, gliding across the stage with aid from her Duke – Richard Stuart. The pair are majestic to watch, in a similar way to a rather well-orchestrated cat and mouse.

Corr Blimey (November 2021)

There’s vintage G&S bluster from veteran D’Oyly Carter Richard Suart as the spluttering Duke of Plaza-Toro, and Yvonne Howard as his Duchess, splendidly regal, but dressed in so vast a panniered dress one assumes its extensive wingspan conceals wheels to facilitate accompanying its wearer.

Vox Carnyx (November 2021)

Ruth, The Pirates of Penzance, Charles Court Opera / Opera Holland Park

Yvonne Howard made a delightful Ruth, homely and warm so that you felt sorry for her, and she made her opening solo a lovely piece of story telling.

Planet Hugill (August 2021)

Yvonne Howard brings every requisite skill and more to hapless Ruth.

The Stage (August 2021)

Madame Larina, Eugene Onegin, Garsington Opera

Yvonne Howard and Kathleen Wilkinson gave strong acting and vocal performances as Madame Larina and Filippyevna

Bachtrack (June 2021)

Yvonne Howard and Kathleen Wilkinson were perfection as Madame Larina and the nursemaid Filippyevna

The Article (June 2021)

Yvonne Howard and Kathleen Wilkinson were both ideal casting as Madame Larina and Filippyevna. Tchaikovsky wrote of the domestic scenes that “…the portrayal of everyday life will be interesting, and how full of poetry it all is! The scene between Tatyana and her nurse is marvellous.” And so the interchanges between the two elderly ladies were indeed full of poetry, and that in Tatyana’s bedroom was outstanding

Music OMH (July 2021)

L'arlesiana, Opera Holland Park

Yvonne Howard’s Rosa Mamai was suffocating and sympathetic by turns. Howard had a grip on the matriarch’s obsessive mania and exercised steely control, vocally and dramatically, in her Act 1 narration of her son’s first encounter with the woman from Arles, ‘Era un giorno di festa’. Later her voice did not so much shine with verismo passion, as burn with self-torturing anguish, and her Act 3 ‘Esser madre è un inferno’ made one hold one’s breath. Howard’s stamina, focus and commitment were exemplary.

Opera Today (July 2019)

Yvonne Howard brings the requisite warmth and compassion to his mother Rosa, desperate to placate her son in his hapless bid to move on – as exemplified by 'Esser madre e un inferno’, the other extract to have outlived this opera's repertoire status.

Classical Source (July 2019)

When the opera was done at Holland Park in 2003, it was Rosalind Plowright who took the role of Rosa Mamai. Here it is another well-respected, experienced singer, Yvonne Howard, who becomes the very incarnation of the matriarch. Howard’s Act III ‘Esser madre è un inferno’ was a masterclass in impassioned verismo singing, a solo scene shot through with heartfelt emotions, her pleas to God to watch over her son incredibly moving. Howard’s voice feels in full bloom, yet has the impression of age to fully embrace the mother aspect; a word for the orchestra here, whose quiet and controlled strings at the scena’s conclusion held the audience to silence. It was one of those operatic moments one lives for.

Seen and Heard International (July 2019)

As Rosa Mamai, Yvonne Howard is powerful and moving, her lavish mezzo revealing the genetic source of son Federico's passionate nature.

Culture Whisper (July 2019)

The most emotionally affecting performance of Oliver Platt’s production is Yvonne Howard as Federico’s mother, Rosa Mamai. With Esser Madre è un Inferno – “It’s hell being a mother”, she gives a masterclass in anguish, appealing to the heavens to save her son from suicide but failing to prevent the tragedy.

The Stage (July 2019)

The meatiest turns come from Yvonne Howard, frighteningly believable as his overbearing mother, Rosa...

The Times (July 2019)

Yvonne Howard burned with misplaced passion as Federico’s overbearing Mama...

The Spectator (July 2019)

Best of all was Yvonne Howard as Rosa Mamai, the archetypal Mediterranean mother who despairs at her boy’s romantic choices and interferes. Her aria “Esser madre è un inferno”, where Rosa laments the tribulations of motherhood, was sung with great emotion, Howard’s warm mezzo rising to the scene’s considerable challenges.

Bachtrack (July 2019)

...and Yvonne Howard is superb as Rosa Mamai, the mother who despairs at her son’s broken heart.

The Observer (July 2019)

At a performance of L’Arlesiana at Opera Holland Park recently, I was bowled over by Yvonne Howard’s heart-breaking aria, Esser madre è un inferno (To be a mother is hell!). Howard as the long-suffering matriarch is superb. When she pleads for God to watch over her son, who has become enamoured with a woman of questionable repute, you really feel her pain.

Art Muse London (August 2019)

This meant that the central dramatic performance was very much that of Yvonne Howard as his mother, Rosa Mamai, the dominant character on the farm. Howard made Rosa Mamai perhaps more sympathetic, less suffocating than she could have but in Act Three Cilea her a long reflective aria, about motherhood being hell. Cilea objected to one opera house wanting to cut this, and you can understand why they might as it holds up the action, but Howard made it the centrepiece of the evening, giving us a riveting masterclass in expressive singing.

Planet Hugill (July 2019)

Rosa Mamai's Act 3 aria, 'Esser madre è un inferno', supplies the work's most unexpected dramatic crux - 'Being a mother is its own hell. I suffered so much I almost died of it the day he came into the world' - and here in Yvonne Howard's performance her feelings were unsparingly strong. Tortured with worry about her son Federico, the boy driven out of his mind by love for the Girl from Arles, this Rosa Mamai had started out as something more conventionally upstanding and maternal, but Howard harnessed her well'defined mezzo to deliver a performance of searing power.

Opera Magazine (October 2019)

Falstaff‚ Garsington Opera

I loved the tavern scene in which Yvonne Howard as Mistress Quickly pretended to be a smitten spinster – the sarcasm of her ‘Reverenza’ was completely lost on the self-deluded Falstaff.

Opera Magazine (August 2018)

Ably abetting Alice is Yvonne Howard’s deliciously conspiratorial Mistress Quickly‚ intricately characterised and naturally comic with her agile‚ flowing mezzo and warm stage presence.

BachTrack (June 2018)

...Yvonne Howard is simply a class act as Mistress Quickly.

MusicOMH (June 2018)

Yvonne Howard’s formidable Mistress Quickly calls the shots with wicked effectiveness...

The Independent (June 2018)

Thereafter the production oozes class. Mary Dunleavy and Victoria Simmonds score as Alice and Meg Ford‚ Yvonne Howard locates all Mistress Quickly’s irony...

What’s on Stage (June 2018)

Similarly‚ Yvonne Howard is a serene Mistress Quickly‚ presiding over the plot of the two younger ladies‚ and appropriately making the role a figure of some social standing as the opera seems to call for‚ rather than the earthy‚ bawdy tavern-keeper of Shakespeare’s original inspiration.

Seen & Heard International (June 2018)

Iolanthe‚ English National Opera

Among the larger roles‚ Yvonne Howard was outstanding as the Queen of the Fairies (costumed and played as a cross between Tinkerbell and a spear-wielding Wagnerian Heroine)‚ her thundering spoken passages as effective as her mahogany lyricism in ‘Oh foolish fay’.

Opera Magazine (April 2018)

And verve is certainly what they got‚ from Timothy Henty‚ the ENO orchestra and the whole cast. Yvonne Howard was on magnificent form‚ bossing the show as the Queen of the Fairies and showing plenty of vocal chops along the way.

BachTrack (February 2018)

It is the old hands Andrew Shore (The Lord Chancellor) and Yvonne Howard (Queen of the Fairies) who fare best at projecting as they always ensure that the humour derives from the absurd (although not entirely unfamiliar) values to which their characters subscribe.

MusicOMH (February 2018)

Yvonne Howard is a commanding‚ impressively chest-voiced but unusually attractive Fairy Queen...

The Arts Desk (February 2018)

Yvonne Howard is a commanding Queen of the Fairies...

The Express (February 2018)

...Yvonne Howard is in her element as the Queen of the Fairies‚ dispensing pyrotechnics from her spear.

The Guardian (February 2018)

Yvonne Howard’s Fairy Queen is splendidly Wagnerian...

The Independent (February 2018)

Terrific performances all round‚ with Yvonne Howard and Andrew Shore excelling as the Queen of the Fairies and Lord Chancellor...

The Telegraph (February 2018)

The Barber of Seville‚ English National Opera

Yvonne Howard in the minor role of Berta gave a feisty “Il vecchiotto cerca moglie”...

BachTrack (October 2017)

Yvonne Howard makes for an impressive Berta as she reflects upon the sad state of her spinsterhood as compared with the happily romantic future that awaits Rosina.

Classical Source (October 2017)

Alastair Miles lubricious Don Basilio and Yvonne Howard’s charming Berta all added to a beguiling evenings entertainment.

Planet Hugill (October 2017)

Yvonne Howard makes for an impressive Berta as she reflects upon the sad state of her spinsterhood as compared with the happily romantic future that awaits Rosina.

The Independent (October 2017)

...and Yvonne Howard an irresistible Berta‚ this is casting from the top table.

What’s On Stage (October 2017)

As Berta‚ Yvonne Howard made the most of her moment in the limelight and rightly offered a more mature tone than Tynan.

Opera Magazine (December 2017)

Verdi Requiem‚ Opera Holland Park

Yvonne Howard also gave a scorching performance‚ completely comfortable at the higher end of the register and beguiling in her range of timbres at the lower.

Classical Source (August 2017)

Yvonne Howard who has the clarety richness of an old fashioned contralto in the lower registers squeezed every drop of feeling out of those sexy chromatic shifts.

Lark Reviews (August 2017)

Albert Herring‚ Buxton Festival

Yvonne Howard’s reassuring presence and powerful‚ no-nonsense tone made it quite clear that Lady Billows ruled the roost.

Opera Magazine (September 2017)

Yvonne Howard as the tweedy grande dame and moral crusader‚ Lady Billows‚ was magnificent...

Manchester Theatre Awards (July 2017)

The whole cast did a terrific job: Yvonne Howard an imposing Lady Billows...

Mark Ronan (July 2017)

Yvonne Howard’s Lady Billows was a beautifully observed character portrait‚ upright and severe with strong opinions. She was perhaps slightly less sharp-edged than in some productions‚ but no less fearsome‚ and it was the upright-ness and sense of disapproval at the change in the modern world which came over. Howard’s voice was softer edged‚ less inclined to cut through the orchestra and without the dominating whiplash of some incarnations of the role. Instead she gave us a beautifully sung account of the role‚ and one which really fleshed out the detail of her portrayal.

Planet Hugill (July 2017)

Its seems invidious to pick out names in a large cast‚ but there were some outstanding interpretations and characterful singing‚ not always easily achieved in the context of Britten’s orchestration. Veterans such as Yvonne Howard and Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts were formidable in their acting‚ and vocally as well.

Seen and Heard International (July 2017)

As Lady B‚ Yvonne Howard was a true uber-matron‚ with an irresistible repertoire of grimaces to boot;

The Guardian (July 2017)

A photograph of Churchill watches over Yvonne Howard’s magnificent Lady Billows...

The Spectator (July 2017)

An excellent cast including Bradley Smith as a likeable Herring‚ Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts as the burbling mayor and Yvonne Howard as the spine-quaking Lady Billows prove quite capable of pointing up all the innuendos and subtexts.

The Times (July 2017)

Savitri‚ City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Howard was at her appreciable best; her singing had all the warm tone required in the critical lower registers and there was wonderful freedom and bite above the stave as well. Her colours on words like “cold” and “still” were particularly evocative.

Classical Source (February 2017)

Yvonne Howard... was Savitri‚ showing just enough steel and resolve beneath the emollient vocal surfaces to make her character more realistic than merely symbolic...

The Guardian (February 2017)

In Savitri‚ the orchestra takes second place to the voices‚ appearing to offer musical punctuation as voices rise and soar during the exchanges...Howard’s mezzo-soprano is pure and fills the hall‚ full of Savitri’s love for Satyavan.

The Reviews Hub (February 2017)

The Snow Maiden‚ Opera North

There is characterful support in the smaller roles‚ not least Yvonne Howard’s Spring Beauty and James Creswell’s Father Frost.

Classical Source (February 2017)

Yvonne Howard made a warm and appealing Spring Beauty (the Snow Maiden’s mother)‚ singing with flexible tone and a nice charm. The role is hardly a character‚ more of an idea or a concept‚ and allowed Howard to bring personality to bear.

Planet Hugill (February 2017)

Howard nevertheless gives a stellar performance as Snow Maiden’s mother‚ and her farewell song with female ensemble ranks high in the opera’s melodic glories.

What’s On Stage (February 2017)

...while Yvonne Howard warmed to her task as Spring Beauty‚ especially fine in her later scene as the elderly mother submits to her daughter’s pleas.

BachTrack (January 2017)

Spring Beauty‚ touchingly sung by Yvonne Howard‚ wore a traditional sun headdress and green cloak...

The Observer (January 2017)

Yvonne Howard’s compassionate‚ velvet-voiced spring goddess ennobled every scene in which she appeared.

The Spectator (January 2017)

The longueurs of the prologue were alleviated by the Snow Maiden’s parents‚ Spring Beauty and Father Frost (the Russian equivalent of Santa)‚ played with gusto by Yvonne Howard and James Cresswell. Howard was also moving in her aged reappearance towards the close: she is always a reassuring presence on our stages.

The York Press (January 2017)

Yvonne Howard’s grand-toned Spring Beauty and James Creswell’s kindly Father Frost got the evening off to a solid vocal start.

Opera Magazine (March 2017)

Das Rheingold & Die Walkure‚ Opera North

I liked Yvonne Howard’s cowed but proud and still hopeful Fricka...Yvonne Howard‚ her growing glee at her revenge on her husband very well done

Critics Circle (July 2016)

Das Rheingold‚ Opera North

Wotan and his excellent wife‚ Fricka (the consistently vocally stunning Yvonne Howard) appeared in evening dress. Howard relished Fricka’s every line‚ and gave a lovely‚ nuanced account‚ wonderfully confident throughout.

Seen and Heard International (July 2016)

Yvonne Howard was an excellent Fricka‚ possessing a refined manner on the one hand and an expectancy and allure on the other that made it easy to see why Wotan had fallen over backwards to give her everything he could.

MusicOMH (June 2016)

Top of their respective games‚ too‚ and welcome in Wagner anywhere in the world were the undervalued Yvonne Howard’s poised‚ calculating Fricka

The Arts Desk (June 2016)

Yvonne Howard was a noble Fricka

The Guardian (June 2016)

The resplendent Yvonne Howard’s carefully layered characterisation of Wotan’s wife‚ Fricka‚ and Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke’s spidery portrayal of Loge likewise make triumphant returns.

Ilkley Gazette (May 2016)

There is elegant support from Yvonne Howard (Fricka)

The Times (May 2016)

But it is Michael Druiett as Wotan‚ chief of the gods and resplendent in tailcoat‚ whose majestic‚ seamless bass-baritone provides the backbone to the voices‚ assisted by Yvonne Howard’s captivating Fricka‚ his wife.

The York Press (May 2016)

Yvonne Howard captures Fricka’s steadfastness in her soft singing...

The Telegraph (April 2016)

Die Walkure‚ Opera North

Yvonne Howard similarly repeated the magic she had brought to the role of Fricka the night before.

MusicOMH (July 2016)

Yvonne Howard’s triumphant - though for how long? - Fricka was again pretty much everything it should have been. Her dialectical path to victory over her husband chilled as it must...

Opera Today (July 2016)

We were back to the crystal-clear dialectics of Das Rheingold with the return of Yvonne Howard’s adamantine Fricka‚ pointing out the law of marriage-customs in as gripping a husband-wife scene as I’ve ever experienced.

The Arts Desk (June 2016)

The Turn of the Screw‚ Northern Ireland Opera

Yvonne Howard reprised her role as the housekeeper Mrs Grose‚ and her creeping fear and mounting alarm provided the production’s lynchpin in the evening’s most fully realized‚ nuanced performance.

Opera Magazine (May 2016)

The Mikado‚ English National Opera

Yvonne Howard’s Katisha was suitably indomitable‚ dark-toned and relishing the comedy

BachTrack (November 2015)

In their respective roles of Ko-Ko‚ Katisha and the Mikado Richard Suart‚ Yvonne Howard and Robert Lloyd gave exemplary performances that lifted the evening to an exalted level

MusicOMH (November 2015)

Equaling his authority if not his physical stature was the superb Katisha of Yvonne Howard. Ms. Howard brought the perfect degree of supercilious hauteur to the role‚ with a voice to match. She gave us some of the finest singing of the evening‚ investing ‘Alone‚ and yet alive’ with dramatic Mozartian flair. She delighted most in her duet with Ko-Ko‚ when the Lord High Executioner must bid for her hand in order to save himself from execution. Mr. Suart’s ingratiating flirting with the sterner Ms. Howard was very funny‚ his melancholy refrain of ‘Willow‚ tit-willow’ moving and hilarious in equal measure

Opera Britannia (November 2015)

Yvonne Howard here as a formidably glamorous “Daughter-in-law elect.”

Sunday Express (November 2015)

Yvonne Howard’s Katisha is sung with dignity and pathos as well as offering full comic value

The Stage (November 2015)

Yvonne Howard’s beautifully sung Katisha makes that lonely spinster‚ so cruelly caricatured by Gilbert‚ far more sympathetic than normal

The Times (November 2015)

(Lloyd) ...he sings with a degree of articulation that renders the Coliseum’s surtitles superfluous. Lloyd’s closest rival in this respect is his daughter-in-law-elect‚ even though Yvonne Howard is way too glamorous to pass muster as the ghastly Katisha

What’s On Stage (November 2015)

The Monster in The Maze‚ London Symphony Orchestra‚ Barbican

Yvonne Howard sang his mother with elemental warmth and a nicely judged caricature of matriarchal authority

Classical Source (July 2015)

Professionals Joshua Bloom‚ Andrew Rees and Yvonne Howard sang vividly as Daedalus‚ Theseus and his mother

The Guardian (July 2015)

Carousel‚ Opera North

Yvonne Howard is both personal and lively as Nettie Fowler‚ Julie’s helpful aunt. In fact‚ Howard’s performance of You’ll Never Walk Alone is exceptional

All Edinburgh Theatre (June 2015)

Yvonne Howard’s sumptuous voice and rather grand presence makes Nettie Fowler into an appropriately warm‚ matronly character...And so to the anthem‚ beloved by Liverpudlian football fans – those most operatic of people – “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. This was sung with intensely affecting‚ reined in passion by the masses on stage‚ who might have been worried about getting too carried away. The audience did not cry much‚ but it did stand to applaud

BachTrack (May 2015)

Yvonne Howard‚ reprising her role as matriarchal Nettie‚ continues on her mission to reclaim You’ll Never Walk Alone from the terraces and restore it to the opera house

The Guardian (May 2015)

Strong (and strongly sung) performances feature throughout the cast...Yvonne Howard’s thoroughly likeable Nettie makes the most of two of the show’s anthems

Huddersfield Examiner (May 2015)

When Yvonne Howard‚ playing Nettie Fowler‚ sings ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’‚ a song better-known as a football anthem‚ her voice brought out the beauty and pathos of the words‚ and I was not the only member of the audience surreptitiously wiping an eye

ON-Magazine (May 2015)

Yvonne Howard‘s tough but tender Nettie Fowler is rock solid. Howard’s clear and steady rendition of “You’ll never walk alone” will dissolve hearts of stone

Opera Britannia (May 2015)

Davies’s production is full of moments of grace...the triumphant rescue of You’ll Never Walk Alone from the Liverpool FC terraces in a soul-soaring performance by Yvonne Howard who plays Nettie Fowler

Telegraph (May 2015)

Throughout‚ the ensemble’s vocal performance is outstanding but never better than Yvonne Howard’s beatific rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone

The Stage (May 2015)

By the time Yvonne Howard sang Netty’s anthem You’ll Never Walk Alone with as much care‚ beauty and gravitas as if it were Schubert or Bellini‚ I was a wreck. I still am

The Times (May 2015)

Norma‚ Opera Holland Park

Yvonne Howard certainly sustained the success she had as ETO’s Norma in 2009‚ Her soprano now has a luminous strength and suppleness ideal for bel canto‚ on the back of innate musicality‚ exceptional breath control and full lower register‚ aspects all revealed in her serene ’Casta diva’...she was entirely convincing on Norma’s matricidal dithering and thrilling emotional build-up in the Act 2 finale...she carried the evening with her restrained‚ unhistrionic nobility and outstandingly accomplished singing

Opera Magazine (September 2014)

This was a deeply felt and stunningly articulated performance‚ using bel canto for the dramatic purposes to which it was intended. This started from her very first entry‚ with Casta Diva having a strongly dramatic and desperate edge‚ rather than being simply lovely. When the drama got going‚ with the duet with Adalgisa (Heather Ship) and trio with Adalgisa and Pollione (Joseph Wolverton) in the final scene of act one‚ then Howard showed herself fervently dramatic. The amazing recitative at the start of act two‚ when Norma contemplates killing her children was gripping and heart wrenching. Howard is a strongly mesmerising performer‚ and you could sense her using the music for the drama‚ continuing into the wonderful final sequence where Norma offers herself as sacrifice

Planet Hugill (August 2014)

(Yvonne) Howard’s voice certainly had the required power and stamina. Helped by a striking flowing green costume‚ she was an imposing presence on stage and acted convincingly the part of the priestess who is a powerful clan leader externally but a soft (if occasionally homicidal) mother underneath. Howard’s phrasing did full justice to Bellini’s flowing lines

BachTrack (July 2014)

While the most famous part of the score is Norma’s ‘Casta diva’‚ which comes earlier in the first Act‚ I was more impressed by the girls’ powerful duets...It is certainly the female leads that take the honours. Yvonne Howard perhaps humanises Norma without ever letting rip‚ but with Heather Shipp’s touching naivety‚ they work together extremely well as the emotional thread of the opera...Without giving too much away‚ the climax is powerfully handled‚ with Howard playing her character’s distraught situation extremely well‚ depicting Norma’s predicament and ultimate decision

Classical Source (July 2014)

...In particular‚ Yvonne Howard’s interpretation of the title role possesses real musical and dramatic authority; she takes on its huge challenges one by one and conquers them all

The Guardian (July 2014)

Why is this glorious bel canto opera not performed more often? The reason is surely that one needs a terrific Norma‚ and Opera Holland Park produced one. Yvonne Howard was superb‚ and with Heather Shipp as Adalgisa these are performances not to be missed. Their duet towards the end of Act I when Adalgisa comes to high priestess Norma wanting to give up her vows of chastity for the love of a man was a glorious example of the emotional tug that bel canto singing can convey in the hands of a master like Bellini. we have heard a wonderful Casta Diva from Ms Howard‚ who coped superbly with the vocal difficulties of those long notes of sustained pitch and varying amplitude. Wonderful...what really counted were the wonderful performances of Heather Shipp as Adalgisa and Yvonne Howard as Norma‚ whose magnificent costume and stage presence emphasised the sacred power she embodies. A vocally riveting Norma

Mark Ronan (July 2014)

Yvonne Howard and Heather Shipp put in performances of a lifetime as Norma and Adalgisa respectively‚ and the scene in which the latter confesses her love for a Roman is stunning‚ thanks to the singing and some intelligent direction. The interactions between the pair are highly natural‚ but there are just enough occasions when they face out to the audience (usually at a slight angle) to enable us to focus on the music and engage with the characters’ innermost feelings. Tension and release are employed both musically and dramatically so that after the highly charged moment in which Norma releases Adalgisa from her vows‚ Howard seems to throw in the question of who her lover is as an attempt to lighten the mood following a difficult encounter. Howard’s voice is rich and vibrant with some thrilling hues in the lower register‚ and an exceptional clarity in the upper. Such a combination enables her to pull off a vast range of effects including screaming in total despair‚ and uttering with heart-wrenching sensitivity ‘I’m guilty’ (the performance is in Italian). Although some of the men get off to shakier starts‚ the fact that they seem to stand in the shadow of Howard and Shipp is more a reflection of the strength of that pair‚ rather than of any real weaknesses in their own performances

MusicOMH (July 2014)

Bellini’s Norma is a rarely performed Italian “bel canto” opera‚ mainly because few sopranos can meet the demands of the title role. With Yvonne Howard‚ Opera Holland Park has found a Norma who has the voice and presence to hold us enthralled in Bellini’s showpiece aria “Casta Diva”

Sunday Express (July 2014)

But this opera stands or falls by its Norma. Here it stands. Yvonne Howard‚ handsome of presence and firm of tone‚ maintains admirable‚ unfazed aplomb. Perhaps she commanded neither the ideal seraphic beauty of tone for “Casta diva” nor the spitting venom for the first-act finale‚ but she sings throughout with intelligent‚ sensitive musicality and rises to the opera’s noble climax radiant with dignity and grace

The Telegraph (July 2014)

Bellini’s Druidical drama Norma is given far less often on the operatic stages of the world than the musical riches of its score would suggest that it deserves. This arises in large part from the difficulty of finding singers up to the vocal challenges facing the soprano in the title role‚ every one of whom must bear comparison to Maria Callas‚ the great diva who made the part her own. From Yvonne Howard’s Act I entrance as the eponymous High Priestess‚ singing the opera’s most famous (and most difficult) aria‚ the glorious hymn to the Moon‚ Casta Diva‚ it is clear that Opera Holland Park has a singer — and actress — fully up to the mark. Twice heard in earlier OHP seasons as Fidelio’s Leonora‚ Howard possesses a voice of rich tone and pinpoint accuracy. That she holds back on delivery of the fioritura ornaments shows welcome restraint and wise judgment

The Oxford Times (July 2014)

Yvonne Howard is entirely unfazed by the demands of Norma‚ which she sings with admirable refinement and rich tone

The Spectator (July 2014)

Yvonne Howard is entirely unfazed by the demands of Norma‚ which she sings with admirable refinement and rich tone

The Spectator (July 2014)

Yvonne Howard brings depth and credibility to the notoriously taxing title role‚ winning more with a kaleidoscope of vocal emotion

The Stage (July 2014)

...Yvonne Howard’s scrupulously prepared performance of the title role. Casta diva‚ with its slow pulse‚ its delicate glissandi and the wild heat of its reiterated high As‚ is just the start of a bel canto marathon. Howard grows in authority and expressivity‚ delivering a scalding "Vanne‚ si: mi lascia‚ indegno" to Joseph Wolverton’s choked Pollione; an exquisite "Teneri‚ teneri figli" to her sleeping children; a triumphant "Si‚ fino all’ore estreme" with Heather Shipp’s volatile‚ shame-faced Adalgisa

The Times (July 2014)

Yvonne Howard is a sensational Norma. The taxing nature of the role cannot be exaggerated – it’s bel canto with bars of steel – yet Howard‚ one of our greatest dramatic sopranos‚ made light of its challenges. Masked sporadically by poor ensemble disposition during the immortal ‘Casta diva’…in the duet ‘In mia man alfin tu sei’‚ Howard always emerged with dignity unscathed

What’s On Stage (July 2014)

Any production of Norma stands or falls with the soprano performing the title role and Opera Holland Park have clearly found a superb advocate in Yvonne Howard. She has sung a number of vocally demanding roles including Sieglinde and she did a superb job handling the opera’s considerable vocal challenges. She also did an excellent job transforming herself into character of Norma and in her heightened and fluctuating emotional states: in the beginning she wants to soothe her people and appease the occupying forces but when she finds out that the Army Commander no longer loves her and has shifted his affections to Adalgisa she becomes a cauldron of jealousy and anger before making the ultimate act of sacrifice at the end. Casta Diva had a gorgeous soft grained tonal beauty and the emotional climax to the aria really got under the skin and was deeply affecting. Given the non-stop succession of vocal hurdles‚ Howard was not completely at ease with some elements of the score e.g. the coloratura in the second aria but the high notes were thrilling and the quality of the singing was uniformly strong throughout...a thoroughly enjoyable and highly imaginative production – much more daring and interesting than some of the rather safe productions which have been emerging from other UK top opera venues – and bravo to Yvonne Howard

Seen & Heard International (January 2014)

Vert-Vert‚ Garsington Opera

Is there a more versatile singer today than Yvonne Howard? She ranges from Fidelio and Marilyn Klinghoffer to a perfectly controlled comedy performance here as the headmistress...

Opera Magazine (August 2014)

Yvonne Howard was in fine voice and gloriously redoubtable as the matronly Mademoiselle Paturelle

BachTrack (June 2014)

...several individual performances come over well...Geoffrey Dolton and Yvonne Howard maximise the potential of the mature comic couple of Baladon and Mademoiselle Paturelle!

The Guardian (June 2014)

...a prim assistant headmistress (the excellent Yvonne Howard)

London Evening Standard (June 2014)

The acting from several cast members during the spoken dialogue is not so convincing‚ but this is certainly not an issue with Yvonne Howard as Mademoiselle Paturelle and Geoffrey Dolton as Baladon. Alongside her sumptuous voice‚ Howard assumes an effective love struck demeanour while Dolton‚ who is required to sing‚ act and dance‚ proves an excellent all-rounder

MusicOMH (June 2014)

Yvonne Howard was a confidently assertive deputy headmistress‚ her rich mezzo always a pleasure to listen to and her characterisation exactly what the part requires

Musical Criticism (June 2014)

The cast is excellent...Yvonne Howard is a brilliantly matronly assistant headmistress

The Spectator (June 2014)

Yvonne Howard is splendid as the starchy-but-passionate deputy headmistress Mademoiselle Paturelle‚ using the formidable chest-voice that’s brought her such success in Wagner to great comic effect and provoking gales of laughter in the innuendo-filled patter-duet with her secret husband‚ the dancing-master Baladin

What’s On Stage (June 2014)

Caligula‚ Teatro Colón

Soprano Yvonne Howard portrayed an empathetic suffering wife delightfully. Dramatically‚ Caesonia was more a comforting mother figure than a spouse. Towards the end of the opera‚ she is convinced to let her husband kill her as a proof of her love. She impressed in the few passages that displayed a melodic line‚ making one regret she did not have more to sing

ConcertoNet (May 2014)

Yvonne Howard fue una lírica y compenetrada Cesonia /// Yvonne Howard was a lyrical Caesonia

Mundo Classico (April 2014)

Yvonne Howard was responsible for the difficult role of Caesonia ‚ wife of the emperor. She showed all facets of the role‚ troubled ‚ knowing the victim of adultery ‚ still with her husband ‚ loving to the end and decided to go along and the world‚ a singer and actor awesome

Opera Club‚ Buenos Aires (April 2014)

Peter Coleman-Wright gave a masterly performance as Caligula‚ effectively conveying the perversity and absurdity of the character. Yvonne Howard was similarly effective as Caesonia‚ particularly her distracted approach to Caligula’s goings on in the first half

Seen & Heard International (April 2014)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Opera North

On the singing and orchestral front everything was excellent... In the cameo roles of Hippolyta‚ and the Duke of Athens Yvonne Howard and Dean Robinson were class voices

Seen & Heard International (November 2013)

Peter Grimes‚ Opera North

Notable vocal and acted contributions came from Yvonne Howard as Auntie...

Seen & Heard International (November 2013)

Phyllida Lloyd seems to have delved still further into the relationships‚ particularly between the women. Grimes’s brutal punch‚ felling Giselle Allen’s grippingly conflicted Ellen like an axe‚ now also seems to unleash the barely suppressed anger in Yvonne Howard’s hardbitten Auntie

The Times (September 2013)

Yvonne Howard‚ another veteran of 2006‚ contributes a beautifully sung Auntie‚ the landlady of The Boar‚ just about in control of her over-active "nieces"

What’s on Stage (September 2013)

Hänsel und Gretel‚ Garsington Opera

The singing cast provided a strong‚ well-matched ensemble...As father and mother‚ William Dazeley and Yvonne Howard were well-matched‚ both with the answer to life’s problems in the form of plenty of cheap booze to hand‚ both with the requisite tendency to abuse their children. Howard was incisive but never shrill

Musical Criticism (July 2013)

Yvonne Howard‚ no stranger to the role (she has played the part several times at the Royal Opera House) strikes a heartbreaking note as the strict mother‚ clearly at her wit’s end from poverty and exhaustion

BachTrack (June 2013)

...a superlative trio of adults in Susan Bickley‚ Yvonne Howard and William Dazely

Brian Dickie (June 2013)

The parents (William Dazely and Yvonne Howard) were both well sung

Classical Source (June 2013)

Mum and Dad are a deliciously inappropriate hoot

Daily Info (June 2013)

Howard and William Dazeley offer textured performances as the children’s parents. Natural physical comedy and touching introspection flesh out these potential caricatures

Entartetemusik (June 2013)

The feckless parents – each with a bottle almost perpetually in hand – are strikingly realised by Yvonne Howard and William Dazeley

The Guardian (June 2013)

Yvonne Howard invests the role of the Mother with Wagnerian grandeur

The Independent (June 2013)

They were supported by an exceptional cast‚ finely characterized by this imaginative and sensitive director; I cannot imagine William Dazeley’s drunken‚ loutish yet pitiable father‚ Yvonne Howard’s put-upon yet still lovable mother and Susan Bickley’s gloriously over-the-top Witch being bettered

MusicOMH (June 2013)

...in Yvonne Howard and William Dazeley we had a mother and father who combined musicality with a dramatically edgy relationship

Opera Today (June 2013)

Yvonne Howard brings out the blend of sweet and sour in the harassed mother

Sunday Express (June 2013)

...it’s musically excellent...Yvonne Howard and William Dazeley give full throttle to their monstrous incarnations as Mother and Father

The Times (June 2013)

Verdi Requiem‚ Lichfield Cathedral

...the soloists: soprano Yvonne Howard‚ mezzo Susan Bickley‚ tenor Barry Banks and bass-baritone Darren Jeffery. Howard and Banks are themselves Staffordshire natives‚ but each of these singers has a truly global reputation; and you could hear why. It can’t have been easy for the conductor‚ Nigel M Taylor to assemble a line-up of this calibre. But it paid off tremendously‚ as every performer present audibly raised their game‚ launching themselves at Verdi’s grandly operatic climaxes with quite irresistible gusto and passion

Tamworth herald (April 2013)

The Mikado‚ English National Opera

Howard refused to resort to caricature‚ has a nice line in overweening pride‚ and camped it up rotten in pursuit of Suart’s Ko-Ko. But that introspective second-act aria was done with intense dignity and lingers in the memory long after its final notes have died away...An outstanding revival of a great show

Opera Magazine (February 2013)

Yvonne Howard as the "mostly" ugly Katisha was a perfect mix of glamour and haughtiness that dovetailed well with Angas’s ‘humane’ Mikado

Classical Source (December 2012)

This production has always suffered from not giving the character of Katisha enough space to reveal the real pathos beneath her haggish exterior‚ with ‘The hour of gladness’ played for laughs. But‚ given these limits‚ Yvonne Howard captures the part well...

Exeunt Magazine (December 2012)

...Yvonne Howard’s grand Katisha steers a carefully charted course between mezzo man-eater and woman scorned‚ revealing the sympathy in Sullivan’s music that Gilbert’s mockery largely denies her

The Guardian (December 2012)

This vintage production continues to sparkle with bounce and fizz...the super performance of Yvonne Howard as Katisha...Yvonne Howard sang beautifully in her solo

Mark Ronan (December 2012)

Mezzo-soprano Yvonne Howard (Katisha) sings and acts to perfection but she is in no way inferior as the role may demand. Jonathan Miller copies the Groucho Marx - Margaret Dumont relationship from the Marx Brothers but Yvonne Howard looks stunning on stage. So when she mentions her (that is Katisha’s) ugly face‚ one needs to dismiss what one sees...This is an operatic cast to die for. Not to be missed for opera lovers

Musical Criticism (December 2012)

Yvonne Howard’s voice is still pure and lyrical‚ as evidenced in “Alone and yet alive.” She really got into the spirit of the production as a formidable Katisha‚ very much in the Margaret Dumont mould as foil to Ko-Ko’s Groucho

Opera Britannia (December 2012)

The cast was expertly chosen‚ each member fitting their part like a glove...Top of the laughs was Katisha‚ sung (and acted with full abandon) by mezzo Yvonne Howard. She sang Sieglinde in the recent Hallé Walküre (on the Hallé’s own label) which should give you some idea of her expressive capabilities. Applied to comedy‚ the results are nothing short of magnificent‚ not to mention intimidating (“Bow‚ bow to his daughter-in-law elect” was simply fabulous‚ a real tribute to the phenomenon of the galleon-like English contralto). In addition there was something imposing‚ touching and yet vaguely preposterous about her “Hearts do not break” aria in the second act. This was very nearly a show-stealing performance. In short‚ everything about this Mikado breathes style. ENO at its very best. Go and see it

Seen & Heard International (December 2012)

Veteran performers Yvonne Howard and Richard Angas (in a terrible fat suit) gave us masterful performances as Katisha and the Mikado...

Spear’s wms (December 2012)

...her taming of Suart’s definitive Ko-Ko is superbly malign

The Independent (December 2012)

Jonathan Miller’s resolutely non-Japanese flapper-era production of The Mikado is now 25 years old‚ but feels as fresh and sparkling as ever - and the current English National Opera cast is one of its strongest ever...Yvonne Howard excels as the hideous Katisha - funny but also sympathetic‚ and ravishingly sung

The Stage (December 2012)

There’s one performance that elevates this revival from the workaday to the sublime‚ and that’s Yvonne Howard’s perfectly-poised assumption of the role of Katisha. Although more soprano than mezzo she has the role’s low-lying notes well within her grasp‚ and commands attention whenever she’s on the stage. She manages to make the character sympathetic‚ funny and grotesque all at the same time‚ which is no mean feat and she sings gloriously

What's On Stage (December 2012)

Die Walküre‚ Hallé Orchestra CD

DISC OF THE MONTH: Yvonne Howard’s Sieglinde is vocally supple. She starts gently‚ and one fears that the right level of vocal depth and brilliance will be beyond her‚ but she discovers unexpected reserves where needed

Opera Magazine (September 2012)

Carousel‚ Opera North at Barbican

The song (’You’ll never walk alone’) is well-served by Yvonne Howard as Nettie who never slides into sentimentality but sings it as an anthem of love and hope

Classical Music (August 2012)

Yvonne Howard rescues that overblown anthem‚ You’ll Never Walk Alone‚ from its churchy and footballing associations

The Guardian (August 2012)

...it is two of the highest profile operatic names who steal the show. Sarah Tynan as Julie’s best friend Carrie has a pleasing voice and comic touch‚ while Yvonne Howard carries a strong homely presence as cousin Nettie

Londonist (August 2012)

It is a treat to hear Carousel neither over-amplified nor sung in voice-lacerating‚ musical theatre “belt”. Yet even the more experienced opera singers here (such as Yvonne Howard‚ a warm Nettie Fowler) never sound “operatic”

Telegraph - Seven Magazine (August 2012)

There’s also strong work from Michael Rouse’s roguish Jigger Craigin‚ John Woodvine’s movie director Starkeeper and Yvonne Howard’s Nettie Fowler‚ whose soaring preview of the final anthem sends shivers down the spine...

The Public Reviews (August 2012)

The Turn of the Screw‚ Northern Ireland Opera (at Buxton Festival)

Yvonne Howard‚ an experienced interpreter of Britten‚ presented just the sort of Mrs Grose that one could hope to encounter – clear‚ warm-hearted and steadfast in her duty and loyalty to the Governess‚ and yet convincing in her terror when recollecting Quint’s evil

Bachtrack (July 2012)

Yvonne Howard is an ideal Mrs Grose...

Opera Magazine (September 2012)

Caligula‚ English National Opera

He (Peter Coleman-Wright) sings with total theatrical commitment. So do Yvonne Howard as empress-consort Caesonia‚ Carolyn Dobbin as the poet Scipio‚ and countertenor Christopher Ainslie as the henchman- slave Helicon

Bloomberg (June 2012)

I can’t finish without adding a comment on the performance of Yvonne Howard as Caligula’s wife‚ Caesonia. She was superb‚ not least because she managed a surprisingly convincing portrait of a wife who sticks with her husband despite all the dreadful things he does (including her knowledge of his love for his dead sister Drusilla‚ whose naked body provided a continual and startling silent presence on the stage throughout the piece). Her death scene‚ suffocation at Caligula’s hands‚ was disturbingly consensual and erotic‚ providing a surprisingly quiet and drawn out episode before the swift chaos of Caligula’s murder. I think it is her performance‚ especially as she sat smoking a cigarette and drinking a glass of wine in apparent obliviousness of her husband’s dreadful behaviour‚ that is going to stay with me the most

Classically Inclined (June 2012)

He draws strong performances from the entire cast...and Yvonne Howard is compelling as Caesonia‚ the tyrant’s masochistic wife

Telegraph Seven Magazine (June 2012)

And there are moments of lyric vision — notably the trio for Scipio (Carolyn Dobbin)‚ Caligula and his wife‚ Caesonia‚ a role beautifully sung by Yvonne Howard

The Times (June 2012)

...there are top-notch performances from Yvonne Howard as Caligula’s wife (who allows him to murder her in a disturbingly sexy fashion)

Wall Street Journal (June 2012)

The dinner scene was a fantastic climax‚ featuring a delicious trio between Caligula‚ his wife Caesonia (Yvonne Howard) and poet Scipio (Carolyne Dobbin) supported delicately by vibraphone and strings. The music is tortured‚ reflecting all three characters’ unhappiness...Yvonne Howard as Caesonia presented this thoroughly complex character with aplomb; her voice is capable of both power and delicacy‚ both of which are well exploited in her rich and satisfying part. Inexplicably devoted to her husband‚ she eventually allows him to strangle her to death

Bachtrack (May 2012)

The singers were unstinting in their words (good translation) and acting…Yvonne Howard is indefatigable as the faithful wife

Classical Source (May 2012)

Yvonne Howard cuts a superbly statuesque figure as his wife‚ Caesonia‚ with suitably regal tone to match

Evening Standard (May 2012)

Yvonne Howard cuts a superbly statuesque figure as his wife‚ Caesonia‚ with suitably regal tone to match

Evening Standard (May 2012)

Particular highlights for me were Yvonne Howard’s resplendent Caesonia‚ whose smiling detachment from her husband’s behaviour was almost more disturbing than the evil acts themselves

Limelight (May 2012)

Yvonne Howard makes a strong and loyal Caesonia

Londonist (May 2012)

Of the fine cast I would mention particularly Yvonne Howard as Caligula’s wife‚ loving unto death

Musical Pointers (May 2012)

I did enjoy Yvonne Howard’s Caesonia‚ particularly in her stunningly intimate and distressing death scene

Musical Criticism (May 2012)

The two figures of the senate closest to Caligula are Helicon and Caesonia. The role of the latter received a deeply committed performance from soprano Yvonne Howard. Caesonia enjoys some of the most beautiful music in the opera‚ constantly acting as a soothing balm to her husband’s volatile character. Her full-bloodied tone but well-controlled vibrato and wonderfully projected voice served her well‚ and contrasted nicely with the purer voice of counter-tenor Christopher Ainslie

Opera Britannia (May 2012)

The cast excels‚ too‚ in the huge demands placed upon them - notably Pavlo Hunka as the politician Cherea‚ Yvonne Howard as Caligula’s grandly conspiratorial wife Caesonia‚ and Christopher Ainslie in his immaculately sung performance of Caligula’s slave‚ Helicon...Taken as a whole‚ the result is clearly one of the operatic events of the year

The Stage (May 2012)

The performance is first-class‚ with Yvonne Howard particularly arresting as Caligula’s wife

The Telegraph (May 2012)

Caligula kills his wife‚ Caesonia (sung by the splendid British mezzo‚ Yvonne Howard)

The Australian (May 2012)

Coleman-Wright plays the part of Caligula with a huge amount of energy and passion‚ leaving everyone‚ other than Howard‚ behind...Yvonne Howard’s portrayal of the doting and forgiving wife is equally as strong. Her dedication to her husband is almost sinister and by the end I was left wondering who I disliked more. Was there an element of Lady Macbeth in her or did her love for Caligula cloud her judgement

The Public Reviews (May 2012)

Yvonne Howard...seizes her lyrical moments

The Times (May 2012)

As for Yvonne Howard as the Emperor’s loyal but doomed wife Caesonia‚ whenever she appears her regal presence illuminates the nightmare world

What's On Stage (May 2012)

Die Walküre‚ Hallé Orchestra CD recording

Recorded live in Manchester last year‚ the Hallé Orchestra’s concert performance of Die Walküre is a magnificent achievement‚ thrillingly played and gloriously sung — with a cast led by Stig Andersen’s ardent Siegmund‚ Yvonne Howard’s fierce yet warm-toned Sieglinde

The Times (May 2012)

The Turn of the Screw‚ Northern Ireland Opera

Yvonne Howard made an emotional Mrs Grose...a vocal roster with no weak links‚ and a collective strength aplenty

Opera Magazine (May 2012)

Yvonne Howard’s Mrs Grose‚ with cast-iron perm‚ surgical stockings and Dame Edna specs‚ is superbly done

The Guardian (March 2012)

Yvonne Howard’s exemplary Mrs Grose

The Telegraph (March 2012)

Das Rheingold‚ Opera North at The Lowry Theatre

The goddesses were led by the incredibly talented Yvonne Howard‚ a soprano of great experience Her warm soprano‚ finely balanced and coupled with her ability for nuance and colouring that is so often missing in today’s singers‚ created a Fricka of both subtlety and grace – a multi-dimensional wife and sister from the start‚ rather than the more normally expected ‘single-sided’ goddess. Here was a woman still in love with her husband but more than a little knowledge of his misdemeanours. Never before have I seen such an expression of fear on the face of Fricka when Erda makes her appearance. For Ms Howard the fear was so much born from Mother Earth’s appearance as from the sure knowledge that her husband’s desire to know more would result in infidelity

Lietofinelondon (September 2011)

Das Rheingold‚ Opera North

...nicely contrasted with Yvonne Howard‚ his elegant solicitous Frika

Opera Magazine (August 2011)

Die Walküre‚ Hallé Orchestra

As Act 1 progressed‚ building up to the realisation of Siegmund and Sieglinde that they are not only brother and sister‚ but also in love‚ Andersen’s soaring tenor was spellbinding. Howard more than held her own‚ modulating beautifully. You wouldn’t think she was a mezzo. And she showed heart-fluttering emotion

The Art's Desk (July 2011)

Yvonne Howard was obliged to take on the role of Sieglinde at the last moment. Score in hands‚ she copes wonderfully‚ conveying the wild ecstasy of the incestuous love for her brother Siegmund‚ and her misery later on in the opera‚ with a refined intensity‚ all of which emphasises her great versatility‚ because she is currently ruling with top notch elegance as Fricka in Opera North’s Das Rheingold

Bachtrack (July 2011)

Yvonne Howard‚ as Sieglinde‚ was his worthy partner‚ singing with creamy beauty and passionate ecstasy

City Life (July 2011)

...the duet with Siegmund (Stig Andersen) and Sieglinde (Yvonne Howard) had a tenderness beyond renegade intoxication

Independent (July 2011)

Yvonne Howard was a touching Sieglinde

Independent (July 2011)

...the radiant Sieglinde of Yvonne Howard

This in Lancashire (July 2011)

Stig Andersen has the part of Siegmund even more deeply under his skin: with every word weighed and beautifully measured‚ he met a Sieglinde of fierce radiance in Yvonne Howard

The Times (July 2011)

Yvonne Howard’s Sieglinde grew remarkably in stature and confidence‚ inhabiting the role more with each passing phrase

Unpredictable Inevitability (July 2011)

Belisario‚ Chelsea Opera Group

His duet with Yvonne Howard‚ in Part 2‚ was one of the high points of the opera. Irene only gets a single aria‚ but her character seems to spend a lot of time on stage reacting to others; in some ways she is the most developed character in the piece. Yvonne Howard sang the role admirably‚ capturing the element of melancholy sadness.

Planet Hugill (June 2011)

Das Rheingold‚ Opera North

Yvonne Howard is the classy‚ very manipulative Fricka

The Guardian (June 2011)

The invaluable and versatile mezzo Yvonne Howard is a sumptuous-toned Fricka who conveys tenderness‚ concern and anxiety. Howard’s dignified reproach of her husband "the shame you have brought upon us" and her impassioned plea for Freia were beautifully judged

Opera Britannia (June 2011)

...casting was exceptionally canny. A team without weakness had been assembled...Yvonne Howard’s cool and elegant Fricka

The Telegraph (June 2011)

Yvonne Howard impresses as Fricka

The Arts Desk (June 2011)

...compelling performances...excellent accounts; Yvonne Howard’s anguished Fricka

The Times (June 2011)

Yvonne Howard’s Fricka and Giselle Allen’s Freia are both convincingly human and sung with affecting intensity

What's On Stage (June 2011)

A cast of uniformly high quality...nicely contrasted‚ with Yvonne Howard his elegant‚ solicitous Fricka

York Press (June 2011)

Belisario‚ Chelsea Opera Group‚ QEH

Yvonne Howard’s Irene was grand‚ gracious and deeply touching in her scenes with her father

The Guardian (February 2011)

Howard’s mezzo is controlled‚ refined and impassioned; the wide-range of her music never defeats her and she sings with a focused intensity from her first entry

Seen & Heard International (February 2011)

Hänsel und Gretel‚ Royal Opera House

A word‚ too‚ in praise of Yvonne Howard‚ who sings rather than booms the small role of the mother‚ and makes her lament sound like something that’s wafted in from Parsifal

The Telegraph (January 2011)

The performances onstage were much more convincing...Thomas Allen and Yvonne Howard accomplished hands as the parents

The Guardian (December 2010)

Medée‚ Chelsea Opera Group

Yvonne Howard was Médée. She is a mezzo with a good range and brought out the venom in the character‚ blazing forth on high and bringing strength to lower passages as she railed against Jason. She painted the picture of the vengeful woman without exaggerating. I can imagine that Howard enjoyed this role‚ just as her singing of it was appreciated by the audience.

Classical Source (November 2010)

It says much for Yvonne Howard’s stunning performance in the title role that she managed to create such a dramatic impression in this truncated form of the opera -- especially as we were deprived of her crucial opening speech (which precedes her first aria). Howard is a mezzo-soprano who has been moving towards soprano roles. She sang Norma for English Touring Opera and Fidelio for Opera Holland Park. Hers was a thrilling‚ high octane reading of the role‚ but one which did not neglect the character’s quieter side‚ nor the classical beauty of Cherubini’s score. Howard never let you forget that‚ even when quietly weeping‚ Medée was creating a calculated effect.

Music and Vision (November 2010)

The overarching sense of drama that prevails is supplied above all else by Cherubini’s elegant score and sophisticated vocal colouring‚ rendered especially eloquently in the numerous shadings of the eponymous role. Medea is a part capable of reaching incredible intensity given the right exponent‚ and Yvonne Howard bore this out suitably. Her richly-timbred mezzo-soprano was indisputably the highlight of the evening‚ expansive‚ full-blooded‚ and a force to be reckoned with during the role’s more strenuous passages. Her best efforts at inspiring Jason to pity were movingly phrased in Dei tuoi figli la madre‚ though her Medea was never less than chilling‚ and it was the character’s violence that she captured most fully. Though the uppermost limits of the role were at times slightly stretched given Ms. Howard’s natural mezzo‚ her voice is supported by a strong firmness of tone‚ allowing her high notes more often than not to cut above the orchestra with accuracy and brilliance. Working through the myriad emotions of the part‚ from Medea’s lament for sympathy to her venomous Nemici senza cor‚ she fully evoked the drama inherent in Cherubini’s ornate vocal writing. In the aforementioned duet‚ her rage was tantamount‚ anguish tempestuously given voice above her Jason’s weaker counterpoint...Chelsea Opera Group managed to provide an enjoyable evening‚ successful primarily for the strengths of its female soloists. Yvonne Howard in particular cut a strong presence as Medea‚ her deft handling of the famously difficult title role alone making the evening worthwhile

Opera Britannia (November 2010)

It is disappointing that no opera companies seem to be planning a full staging of this opera. The last time we saw it in London was‚ I think‚ the 1989 production at Covent Garden with Rosalind Plowright on good form but in a very poorly conceived production. Having heard Yvonne Howard’s assumption of the title role for COG‚ we are just crying out for someone to snap her up and stage the work‚ Grange Park‚ Opera Holland Park‚ English Touring Opera‚ anyone?

Planet Hugill (November 2010)

The Turn of the Screw‚ Opera North

Musically‚ the evening is arresting...well supported by Yvonne Howard’s supple Mrs Grose...

The Independent (November 2010)

Embroilment and complicity are implied through telling detail: Flora plays an impossible cat’s cradle with the benign but fearful housekeeper Mrs Grose (the excellent‚ implacable Yvonne Howard)

Observer on Sunday (October 2010)

Yvonne Howard as Mrs Grose contributes another fascinating characterisation to her wide-ranging roles for Opera North. Aged-up a few years by a frumpish wig and lined face‚ Howard’s Housekeeper skilfully balances motherly reassurance with apprehension and anxiety

Opera Britannia (October 2010)

Yvonne Howard’s good-hearted Mrs Grose epitomises the solid background against which strange events stand out sharply

The Stage (October 2010)

Yvonne Howard’s Mrs Grose is a fine study in suppressed anxiety

The Telegraph (October 2010)

Fidelio‚ Opera Holland Park

As should be the case‚ Leonore dominates proceedings – if anything Yvonne Howard’s interpretation has more depth and assurance than it had when the production was new. She makes a very credible young man‚ helped certainly by the similarity of her uniform to that of Stephen Richardson’s Rocco. Howard has great acting ability and it is always clear when she is playing Fidelio and when she is portraying the emotional inner turmoil of Leonore. Her dialogue is also well delivered – even down to a noticeable lowering of pitch. Her high mezzo suits the huge vocal range of the part‚ and she has all the requisite control of line and dynamic to deliver moments such as ‘Komm Hoffnung’ and the opening of the Act One quartet with poise

Classical Source (July 2010)

There were plenty of outstanding performances‚ both on stage and in the orchestra. Yvonne Howard as devoted wife and Tom Randle as husband Florestan sang with great emotional depth in their respective solo arias

Musical Criticism (July 2010)

Yvonne Howard was a sincere Leonore and navigated Beethoven’s often cruel demands without faltering

Musicweb International (July 2010)

Yvonne Howard‚ however‚ made a fine Leonore‚ her glowing acclaim from the last run proving mostly justified. She played the role of the woman playing the male Fidelio commendably‚ and her robust soprano was one of the highlights of the evening. Despite its relatively simple dramatic structure‚ the vocal parts in Fidelio are anything but straightforward‚ and Ms. Howard met the demands of her role’s often challenging tessitura with a bold assurance‚ her tone clear and radiant in the upper register

Opera Britannia (July 2010)

But it is with the central performances that the show really strikes home. Yvonne Howard’s Fidelio is credible in her male disguise and blazes fiercely in her singing

The Stage (July 2010)

Yvonne Howard sang warmly and wisely in the title-role

The Telegraph (July 2010)

The company has assembled one of its finest casts for the revival. The returning Yvonne Howard is a magnificent Leonora: she invests every second of her performance with psychological honesty‚ even as she makes light of the cruel tessitura that marked Beethoven’s own inhumanity to man

What's on Stage (July 2010)

Knight Crew‚ Glyndebourne

...and Yvonne Howard alternately tragic and mysterious as the Mother and the strange bag-lady Myrtle

Gramophone blog (March 2010)

...part of the magic of the music and of John Fulljames’s direction is that it allows influence to flow from innocence to experience as well as vice versa‚ adding a quality to the solo performances‚ notably of Yvonne Howard (Myrtle) and Pascal Charbonneau (Art)

The Guardian (March 2010)

...this is an extraordinarily accomplished piece of work...Soprano Claire Wild and tenor Pascal Charbonneau are wonderfully convincing as the chief protagonists‚ with mezzo Yvonne Howard doubling brilliantly as the bag-lady and Arthur’s despairing mother...it’s certainly a major achievement

The Independent (March 2010)

It fell to a voice of experience‚ Yvonne Howard‚ to provide a role model‚ projecting magnificently as Mordec’s mother and Myrtle‚ the old soothsayer

Musical America (March 2010)

...there is lyrical power from Pascal Charbonneau as Art‚ Claire Wild as Quin‚ and Yvonne Howard as a mystic bag-lady called Myrtle (presumably Merlin in a skirt)

The Times (March 2010)

St Matthew Passion‚ Royal Festival Hall

Yvonne Howard’s elegant mezzo-soprano was a recurring delight‚ proving not only beautiful but also rather affecting in moments like her opening aria‚ ‘My Master and My Lord‚’ where she offers luxurious ointment to Christ in anticipation of his death. With a delicate and lovely flute accompaniment‚ she offered an anguished‚ heartfelt portrayal marked by some gorgeous phrasing. In addition to a very solid upper register‚ her middle range was secure and richly intoned. Part Two’s ‘Have mercy‚ Lord‚ on me’ was a particular highlight‚ adorned by Ms. Howard’s delicate phrasing and understated mournfulness as much as the achingly tender playing of the orchestra. The first violinist provided the main accompaniment to Ms. Howard‚ playing with tremendous sensitivity‚ her weeping tone suffused with subdued and plaintive feeling‚ all the more moving for its unadorned simplicity. It was perhaps the most singularly beautiful passage in the performance‚ a wonderful example of the way in which Bach scales down his mammoth ensemble to evoke a more understated‚ subjective sense of pity and emotion within individual roles

Opera Britannia (March 2010)

Swanhunter‚ Opera North

...and the Mother’s lament‚ given with potent grandeur by Yvonne Howard‚ suddenly reminds us that opera is really about singing

Opera Magazine (January 2010)

Yvonne Howard’s life-affirming lament may be the most ravishing piece of sustained lyric writing Dove has produced

The Guardian (November 2009)

Excellent ensemble-work aside‚ the vocal honours go to Howard‚ whose anxious refrain is expanded into a grand lament as she journeys to the north to reclaim her "cold‚ torn" son’s corpse

Independent on Sunday (November 2009)

He (Lemminkäinen) is put together again in a powerful final solo by his mother‚ Yvonne Howard

Music & Vision (November 2009)

...six attractive singers‚ led by Andrew Rees (as Lemminkäinen) and Yvonne Howard (as his mother)‚ attack it all with enthusiasm

The Telegraph (November 2009)

...all is not lost. Lemminkäinen’s long-suffering mother (a majestic Yvonne Howard) deploys all her vocal powers to reassemble her son’s dismembered body

The Times (November 2009)

Véronique‚ Buxton Festival

There were finely-judged performances all round...Howard’s countess with an eye below stairs‚ whose mock-Verdian aria at the start of Act 3 was immaculately delivered

Opera Magazine (September 2009)

Yvonne Howard’s Ermerance is made of similar stuff. In her case it is an awareness of time passing and life slipping by (almost rivalling that of the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier) that gives her character depth‚ touchingly explored in her big Act 3 number

Music & Vision (July 2009)

There is excellent work from Yvonne Howard as Hélène’s flirtatious aunt

Sunday Times (July 2009)

Roberto Devereaux‚ Opera Holland Park

As Sara‚ Duchess of Nottingham - Elizabeth’s rival for Devereux’s affections - Yvonne Howard gave a wonderfully sympathetic performance‚ her softer-edged portrayal an ideal foil for the angry‚ implacable queen

Opera (August 2009)

The role of his lover‚ Sarah‚ Duchess of Nottingham‚ is well taken by Yvonne Howard‚ who brings to it dignity‚ grace and vocal authority

Evening Standard (June 2009)

...beautifully expressed by the excellent Yvonne Howard as the compromised Duchess of Nottingham

The Guardian (June 2009)

...Yvonne Howard’s gentle Duchess of Nottingham is the only principal to act when not singing

Independent on Sunday (June 2009)

Yvonne Howard’s dignified and gracefully-sung Sara

Intermezzo (June 2009)

Yvonne Howard was in her element as Sara‚ Duchessa di Nottingham: playing the tortured character with vitality‚ her singing is impassioned in a role that seems to lie well for her

Musical Criticism (June 2009)

Yvonne Howard as Sara‚ Duchess of Nottingham‚ cut a lonely figure as she sang so intensely of her love for Roberto at the start‚ her voice trembling in lament

MusicOHM (June 2009)

...and poetic remorse‚ beautifully expressed by the excellent Yvonne Howard as the compromised Duchess of Nottingham

Observer on Sunday (June 2009)

(Yvonne Howard) She‚ in turn‚ elevated her role to something much beyond the standard seconda donna; tortured between two loves‚ her passion for Essex makes her the true protagonist

Oxford Times (June 2009)

Under leading bel canto expert Richard Bonynge‚ the score crackles throughout. Yvonne Howard charts the predicament of Sara with skill and security

The Stage (June 2009)

Leonardo Capalbo as Essex‚ Yvonne Howard as a dignified and graceful Duchess and Julian Hubbard as the cuckolded Duke are all strongly cast

Sunday Express (June 2009)

The veteran Richard Bonynge‚ husband of Joan Sutherland‚ ensures stylish playing from the City of London Sinfonia‚ and three of the leads — Majella Cullagh’s feisty Elizabeth I‚ Leonardo Capalbo’s elegant Essex (Roberto)‚ and Yvonne Howard’s Duchess of Nottingham — are terrific

Sunday Times (June 2009)

The role of his lover‚ Sarah‚ Duchess of Nottingham‚ is well taken by Yvonne Howard‚ who brings to it dignity‚ grace and vocal authority

This is London (June 2009)

Yvonne Howard’s Sara‚ Duchess of Nottingham — his new squeeze — polished and affecting. Conducting‚ Richard Bonynge shows his decades of experience in his authoritative but understated support for his singers‚ and a well-crafted blend in the ensemble

The Times (June 2009)

Götterdämmerung‚ Halle at Bridgewater Hall

...with Yvonne Howard’s forthright‚ textually-aware Second Norn standing out in this difficult narration.

Musical Criticism (May 2009)

Norma‚ English Touring Opera

The Norma was Yvonne Howard‚ a career mezzo whose recent forays into the soprano repertoire (notably‚ Leonore for Opera Holland Park and Lady Macbeth for Opera North) have been proving consistently successful. She undoubtedly sounds more soprano than mezzo these days‚ her voice brighter-hued than that of the Adalgisa‚ and her top notes easily produced and fully integrated with the rest of her voice

Opera Today (May 2009)

Howard was a real surprise as Norma. Granted she does not have the brilliant gleaming top of a Sutherland or Caballé. But her voice is relatively soft grained‚ attractively warm and has a flexible and well controlled high extension. At no point in the evening did she sound like a mezzo-soprano pushing her voice to its ultimate. On the contrary‚ she turned in a performance notable for its control‚ phrasing and well modulated musicality. ...It was Howard’s entrance which raised the emotional level of the performance...

Though this was a concert performance the singers were without scores and made entrances and exits. Howard added to this a passionately moving dignity of demeanour. She and Mellor developed a strong rapport and I would have loved to hear them in a staging.

Music and Vision (April 2009)

Norma is notoriously difficult to sing but Yvonne Howard delivers the part admirably. Like many of the great Normas of the past‚ Howard began her career as a mezzo‚ and this is still apparent from her voice.

MusicOMH (April 2009)

Howard’s Norma and Alwyn Mellor’s Adalgisa though vocally rather too close in timbre were outstanding‚ they stole the show and would grace any staging anywhere in the world. Yvonne Howard began with a radiant ‘Casta diva’ and continued with some very dignified‚ effortless and controlled singing rising to the challenge of a splendid high D at the end of the trio. Her clear projection was the highlight of a very stately performance full of maternal concern and suppressed rage.

Seen and Heard International (April 2009)

Among the strong cast was Yvonne Howard‚ stunning in her account of the eponymous Druid priestess. Resplendent‚ Howard held the audience spellbound with her effortless‚ creamy tones. With stratospheric lines well-integrated into the range of her powerful yet subtle voice‚ she was terrifying in her fury‚ communicated emotional gentleness and vulnerability‚ and was always dignified and commanding.

Classical Source (April 2009)

Not since Maria Callas’s prime over half a century ago has any soprano scaled the heights of its massive and complex title role‚ which demands majestic declamation‚ lyrical poise‚ electrifying virtuosity and a chink of vulnerability - as well as sheer vocal stamina. Joan Sutherland‚ Montserrat Caballe and Renata Scotto are among those who have fallen in the attempt; Leontyne Price and Renee Fleming have steered clear of the challenge altogether. I wouldn’t claim that Yvonne Howard has capped the lot of them‚ but her debut in ETO’s hugely enjoyable concert version offers a thoughtful and musical interpretation that time and reputation will surely mature. Looking splendidly gracious and regal‚ she radiated the serene dignity of Norma the priestess..providing a steady flow of warm‚ firm tone and clear verbal enunciation. Howard appears to be moving her range from mezzo-soprano to soprano: as if to advertise this ascent‚ she let fly some magnificent blasts of sound high above the stave. But it was her expressive eloquence in the noble closing scene of denunciation and renunciation that was most impressive.

Daily Telegraph (March 2009)

Howard’s Casta Diva had a real warmth and allure to it‚ and her singing never lost its poise

Guardian (March 2009)

Yvonne Howard magnificent in her first account of the demanding title role... A performer of dignity and grace‚ Howard brought her experience of Wagner and Verdi to this favourite role of Callas and Sutherland. Her voice was flexible‚ powerful and impressive in control.

The Observer (March 2009)

Boris Godunov‚ English National Opera

...Varlaam was excellent in the comic scenes on the Lithuanian border‚ as was Yvonne Howard’s inn-keeper

Musical Criticism (November 2008)

La Gioconda‚ Opera Holland Park

Yvonne Howard sings the role of Laura with sensitivity and intelligence

Independent on Sunday (August 2008)

The demands made on the singers are considerable‚ and ideally six voices of world class stature are required. On this particular evening‚ Yvonne Howard (Laura) was the only singer to demonstrate these credentials to the full...

Musical Pointers (July 2008)

Yvonne Howard was exceptional as Laura and when she duetted with Jeffers the results were riveting

Musical Criticism (July 2008)

But the more poised and elegant singing came from the excellent David Soar as the Inquisitor Alvise and Yvonne Howard as Enzo’s inamorata Laura.

The Telegraph (July 2008)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream‚ Opera North

Seasoned stalwart Yvonne Howard manages to make something memorable and funny of Hippolyta.

The Times (May 2008)

Yvonne Howard’s imposing Hippolyta...cast from strength.

Sunday Times (May 2008)

Romeo et Juliette‚ Opera North

...strong supporting performances from ...Yvonne Howard as a risibly whoreish Gertrude.

The Times (May 2008)

An interesting characterisation has Juliette’s nurse‚ here played by Yvonne Howard‚ as a voluptuous‚ eye-winking type who could pull a decent pint

The Stage (May 2008)

Peter Grimes‚ Opera North

Good vignette parts all round‚ especially Yvonne Howard’s Auntie.

Opera Today (March 2008)

Among a strong supporting cast‚ Yvonne Howard’s Auntie stand out.

Evening Standard (February 2008)


Daily Telegraph (January 2008)

Yvonne Howard as the matriarchal host (Auntie) of the Boar’s Head ruled time and delivered some of the most beautiful vocal phrasing I have heard for a long time.

Musical Criticism (January 2008)

Fidelio‚ Royal Opera House

The ovation she was given was well deserved.

Seen & Heard (June 2007)

Marriage of Figaro‚ English National Opera

Yvonne Howard’s warm‚ womanly Marcellina...first rate.

Opera Magazine (March 2007)

Peter Grimes‚ Opera North

Yvonne Howard as Auntie...the casting could hardly be bettered today.

The Stage (January 2007)

Yvonne Howard es una cantante de muche experiencia y de imponente presencia fiscia y su ’Auntie’ fue clásica‚ una senora tabernera que se las sabe todas y con voz de sobra para el rol y con una autoridad escénica impresionante.

operayre.com (December 2006)

Yvonne Howard’s Auntie‚ fruitily sung‚ was a more dominant hostess than most.

Classical Source (November 2006)

Superb performances from...Yvonne Howard (Auntie).

Jewish Chronicle (November 2006)

The comic twist was provided by Yvonne Howard‚ singing the part of Auntie‚ the Landlady of The Boar.

Liverpool Daily Post (November 2006)

Yvonne Howard is excellent as Auntie.

Manchester Evening News (November 2006)

Yvonne Howard was a vivid Auntie.

MusicOMH (November 2006)

...wonderfully down to earth as Auntie.

Oldham Evening Chronicle (November 2006)

Yvonne Howard (Auntie) sings with clarity and strength.

Seen and Heard International (November 2006)

Yvonne Howard’s Auntie...luxury casting.

Sunday Telegraph (November 2006)

Yvonne Howard (a Cynthia Payne-esque Auntie...luxuriously cast.

The Sunday Times (November 2006)

Yvonne Howard makes an authoritative landlady.

The Independent (November 2006)

Yvonne Howard’s fearsome Auntie.

The Press (November 2006)

Nor can I recall a production that produced such plausible characters: Yvonne Howard’s tough-as-nails Auntie.

The Times (November 2006)

A superb supporting cast‚ among whom I would single out...Yvonne Howard (Auntie).

The Daily Telegraph (October 2006)

Merry Wives of Windsor‚ Buxton Festival

Yvonne Howard was very very funny as Mistress Page.

Opera Magazine (October 2005)

...the conniving Mistresses Page and Ford‚ played as a sparky double act by Yvonne Howard and Helen Williams.

The Telegraph (July 2005)

...Yvonne Howard equally good as Meg Page.

The Times (July 2005)

Eugine Onegin, English National Opera

Diction from the three major soloists of the first part of the first Tableau‚ Yvonne Howard (Madame Larina)...was exemplary...Howard’s Larina was lovely and matronly‚ a cuddly mother-figure with a mezzo voice that could occasionally and rightly veer towards the contralto.

Seen & Heard (June 2005)

Twilight of the Gods‚ English National Opera

...and Yvonne Howard’s Norns I and II are so good that you marvel that they are not this Ring’s Erda and Fricka as well

Sunday Times (April 2005)

Die Zauberflöte‚ Royal Opera

Special credit should go to the Three Ladies‚ who were outstanding...in particular Yvonne Howard (as the Third Lady) got the show off to a fabulous start with outstandingly pure singing.

MusicOMH (February 2005)

There are three marvellous ladies...Howard.

Sunday Times (February 2005)

Messiah‚ Minnesota Orchestra

While the alto solos in "Messiah" can’t be called the most riveting‚ mezzo Yvonne Howard made the most of them‚ delivering almost a tearful quality at the end of - He was despised

Star Tribune (December 2004)

Hercules‚ Buxton Festival

Yvonne Howard...sang with flair and cut a splendid figure.

Daily Telegraph (July 2004)

The cast is distinguished by two brilliantly matched sopranos in Yvonne Howard and Gillian Keith...Keith and Howard provide the voices of innocence and experience...Howard chestier but magnificently secure in the florid expulsions of Dejanira’s madness...This is baroque singing and playing of the highest order.

The Guardian (July 2004)

Dejanira is a wonderful mezzo-soprano role with a succession of heart-piercing arias...marvelously sung by Howard.

Sunday Telegraph (July 2004)

[Yvonne Howard] negotiates the music with remarkable agility.

Sunday Times (July 2004)

This staging brings completeness of drama and poignancy‚ thanks in great part to a harrowing performance by Yvonne Howard as Dejanira‚ Hercules’ unfortunate wife.

The Times (July 2004)

The Magic Flute‚ English National Opera

...the most enjoyable vocal performances come from the Queen of Night’s trio of attendant ladies...especially the wonderful Yvonne Howard.

The Sunday Times (April 2004)

Fidelio‚ Holland Park

Yvonne Howard’s Leonore showed just the committed intensity...an unflinching musical and dramatic interpretation.

Opera (June 2003)

Yvonne Howard and Alan Oke are the glory of the evening. Howard brings restraint and dignity to the role..her vibrant mezzo rising to the musical challenges with power and sensitivity.

The Stage (June 2003)

Leonore is played by Yvonne Howard in a performance of overwhelming vocal and dramatic intensity that ranks alongside her achievement in Penny Woolcock’s film‚ The Death of Klinghoffer‚ and marks her out as one of the finest singing actresses this country has produced.

The Guardian (June 2003)

I was enthralled by the Fidelio/Leonore of Yvonne Howard ..tender‚ passionate‚ fearless in the face of the vertical ascents of Abscheulicher! and Namenlose Freude.

Sunday Telegraph (June 2003)

When this Leonore stepped out of her disguise into Komm... out came the full tone and ardent emotion; every prisoner should have such a champion.

The Times (June 2003)

It is hard to overpraise Yvonne Howard’s intensely passionate Leonora‚ shading her phrases beautifully...her duet with the impressive Alan Oke was a soaring pleasure.

What’s On Stage (June 2003)

Night in Old Vienna‚ English Serenata

An exquisite performance of Mahler’s Ruckert song by mezzo-soprano Yvonne Howard‚ the undoubted star of the evening. A sparkling artist who fully communicated with the musicians and listeners‚ she captivated all with wonderful intonation‚ lovely long phrases‚ effortless leaps‚ rich creamy tone‚ sense of humour and amazing vocal acrobatics (matching two yodelling horns) in The Sound of Music.

Birmingham Post (May 2003)

Death of Klinghoffer (film)

As Marilyn Klinghoffer‚ Yvonne Howard gives a stellar dramatic performance.

Los Angeles Times (April 2003)

Dream of Gerontius‚ Royal Choral Society

English mezzo-soprano Yvonne Howard‚ in pale blue-green satin gown‚ sang the role of the comforting Angel with a richly glowing sound that matched the warmth and dignity of her statuesque appearance on stage.

Cape Cod Times (September 2002)

Rinaldo‚ Grange Park Opera

Yvonne Howard was a dependable Goffredo.

The Times (July 2000)

Falstaff‚ Opera North

A strong Meg from Yvonne Howard

Financial Times (January 2000)


Edwige‚ sung by Yvonne Howard‚ another splendidly secure voice with a Wagnerian ring to it.

Sunday Tribune (May 1999)

Il Trovatore‚ Opera South

A youthful Azucena from Yvonne Howard deserves all the superlatives available for technique‚ sense of drama and exquisite modulation of tone and thought.

The Irish Times (November 1998)

Falstaff‚ Opera North

A fresh‚ attractive Meg.

Opera Magazine (March 1997)

Giulio Cesare‚ Royal Opera House

From the start she projected dignity‚ firmness‚ authority through line and tone‚ the colour and shading of which suggested parallels with that unforgotten Handelian alto Helen Watts...I should certainly like to encounter Howard’s performance of it elsewhere.

Opera Magazine (January 1997)

Sweet Swan of Avon (recording)

Yvonne Howard is excellent‚ colouring her voice to suit a wide variety of styles and moods... hugely enjoyable.

BBC Music Magazine (October 1995)

...exquisitely sung by Yvonne Howard; her interpretation of the Arne in particular is the best I have ever heard.

Federation of Recorded Music Societies’ Bulletin’ Magazine (January 1995)

The Ring Saga‚ City of Birmingham Touring Opera

How‚ for instance‚ Yvonne Howard could make Fricka’s confrontation with Wotan so rivetting in the second act of ’Alberich’s Curse’ and then in the second part bring a greater intensity to Waltraute’s narration than Ive encountered was quite remarkable.

Financial Times (November 1990)

...a stunning Waltraute-Fricka by Yvonne Howard.

The Guardian (November 1990)

Yvonne Howard’s imperious Fricka was even surpassed by her marvellous singing of Waltraute’s aria.

Sunday Telegraph (November 1990)

One is so entirely gripped by the ringing articulation of Yvonne Howard as Fricka and Waltraute.

Times (November 1990)

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DVD Decca

The Death Of Klinghoffer. John Adams

Epoch British Music

Piano Trio Op. 25 (The English Piano Trio, Howard, Faulkner), Francis Edward Bache


Sweet Swan of Avon, Charles Dibdin


Denn Du bist Fern - Lieder von Johann Carl Eschmann

Arte Nova Classics

Messiah, Georg Friedrich Handel


The Saint of Bleecker Street, Gian Carlo Menotti

BBC/Opus Arte

Die Zauberflote, Mozart


Boris Godunov (Highlights), Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky

EMI Classics

Beastly Tales, Roxanna Panufnik


The Bartered Bride, Bedrich Smetana


Music of Zurich, Various


Music for and by Fanny Hünerwadel, Various


Hidden Gems, Various

Hallé Concerts Society

Die Walküre. Richard Wagner


Götterdämmerung, Richard Wagner


Troilus and Cressida, William Walton