Lancashire-born baritone RICHARD SUART enjoyed great success at New York City Opera as Lord High Executioner Ko-Ko in Sullivan’s The Mikado in 2001 and 2003. The following year he returned to New York to air more of his G & S comic roles at Philharmonic concerts – the “fleshly poet” Bunthorne from Patience, the not-so-heroic Major-General from The Pirates of Penzance, the Duke of Plaza-Toro from The Gondoliers, and more Ko-Ko. In 2009 San Francisco Symphony audiences heard Suart’s Lord Chancellor from Iolanthe, and and Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival he performed selections from The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance.
Earlier in 2010 Suart sang Mr. Walter in van der Aa’s After Life (De Nederlands Oper, Amsterdam and Opéra de Lyon); in the fall he performs Don Jerome in The Duenna for English Touring Opera and Ko-Ko for Raymond Gubbay’s promotion of The Mikado at London’s Royal Albert Hall. A wide range of recent roles have included General Snookfield in Gershwin’s Let ’em Eat Cake, Barabashkin in Shostakovich’s Paradise Moscow (Opera North, Leeds and Bregenz Festival), Baron Zeta in English National Opera’s The Merry Widow, soccer manager Stan Stock in Benedict Mason’s Playing Away – a role he created – (Bregenz and St Pölten), French Ambassador in Gershwin’s Of thee I Sing, Lesbo in Handel’s Agrippina (English National Opera), and the Mayor in Jen?ufa (Holland Park Opera, London).
He has worked for all the major British opera houses in such productions as The Pirates of Penzance (Major-General)‚ The Mikado (Ko-Ko)‚ Die Fledermaus (Frank), and La bohème (Benoit and Alcindoro) for English National Opera; in Playing Away at Opera North; as Jack Point in The Yeomen of the Guard for Welsh National Opera and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the Lord Chancellor (Iolanthe) and Don Inigo Gomez in L’heure espagnole at Grange Park; many of the Savoy operas‚ also Orpheus in the Underworld and La vie parisienne for the D’Oyly Carte Company since 1988. Suart has also directed and appeared in Trial by Jury‚ Die Fledermaus and Sullivan’s Cox and Box for Diva Opera in the U.K.‚ the Channel Islands‚ Switzerland, and France.
Outside his native Britain Suart has appeared in, and created roles in, contemporary works such as Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King in Gelsenkirchen‚ Milan‚ Helsinki‚ Strasbourg‚ Stavanger, and Paris; Benedict Mason’s Chaplinoperas in New York, Paris, and with Ensemble Modern in Germany‚ Portugal‚ Holland, and Austria; the world premiere performances of Param Vir’s Snatched by the gods and Broken Strings for De Nederlands Oper in Amsterdam and Munich‚ Antwerp‚ Rotterdam, and Rouen; and Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre at the Salzburg Festival and the Châtelet‚ Paris.
For the Nationale Reisopera in Holland he has sung Swallow in Peter Grimes‚ Der Gatte in Reigen, and Ko-Ko (The Mikado), which he has also sung in Vancouver, Venice, and Penang. Recently he has also given performances of Dido and Aeneas in Bremen and Turin‚ and Les noces in Brussels.
He has recorded Eight Songs for a Mad King for Finnish TV and Britain’s Channel 4‚ Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek for BBCTV and Decca‚ Bernstein’s Candide – under the composer with the LSO, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, and the major Gilbert and Sullivan operas for D’Oyly Carte and the Welsh National Opera under Sir Charles Mackerras. For Hyperion he has worked on a series of late 19th-century English operas including The Geisha‚ The Maid of the Mountains, and Sullivan’s The Contrabandista and, for Sony and the BBC, The Little Prince‚ a new opera by Rachel Portman.
He is a regular visitor to the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival‚ held in Buxton each summer‚ and is a Vice President of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. In 2004 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.