Simone Ibbett-Brown

Simone is an opera singer and maker, passionate about work that brings joy, and reflects and affects the world we live in. She is honoured to be a BBC Radio 3 Next Generation Voice 2019, and a Women of the Future Awards-winner 2020.

Performances in 2022/23 include Amneris, Aida (Opera Festival Scotland); Melissa, La liberazione di Ruggiero (Longborough Festival Opera); Carmen, Carmen (University of East Anglia Symphony Orchestra); O King (London Sinfonietta); Earth Song Cycle (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment); Four AfroCuban Songs (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra); belly/back (Sadler’s Wells); and recitals for the Bishopsgate Institute, Black British Classical Foundation, National Gallery, London Festival of American Music, and more. She features on Métier’s release of Alastair White’s critically-acclaimed fashion-opera RUNE. Other performance highlights include Grace, Opera Mums (BBC Four); Mami Wata (Pegasus Opera, Royal Opera House); Passepartout, Around the World in 80 Days (West Green House Opera); Jo, Dead Equal (Summerhall); and small roles in Porgy and Bess (English National Opera, Dutch National Opera, Theater an der Wien). Before training in classical voice, she was a backing vocalist performing at festivals and venues across Europe.

She is a published playwright, and has been engaged to direct and write for professional, emerging artist, and community companies across the UK. Engagements in 2022/23 include releasing her and Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong’s Shuck ‘n’ Jive on film (Soho Theatre On Demand); writing and directing The Anonymous Lover (Glyndebourne Touring Opera) and A Tale of Eurydice and Orpheus (Opera North); and directing Women of the Windrush (Buxton International Festival, UK tour), FEAST (Wilton’s Music Hall), The Aspern Papers (Pegasus Opera), and workshops of new shows with The Kooks’ Hugh Harris, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Previous engagements include making short film What Do You Hope For? (English National Opera); writing the libretto for augmented reality experience HAM the Illustrator’s Munkination (Royal Opera Audience Labs); and directing her all-singing, all-dancing Il barbiere di Siviglia (Devon Opera), Hansel and Gretel (East Anglia Opera), and Around the world in 80 days (West Green House Opera).

Simone trained at the University of York and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she recently completed a fellowship, leading a course on artist-activism. Find out more at simoneibbettbrown.com.

“The performers… were, without exception, stellar. In the ambiguous role of Khye-Rell, mezzo-soprano Simone Ibbett-Brown sang with an exquisite tone, drawing long phrases through tricky, winding melismas. … Both singers were virtuosic, at times traversing three-octave leaps within the space of a semi-quaver, and enunciating dense thickets of text.” - Tempo

“Soprano Patricia Auchterlonie (Kes’Cha’Au) and mezzo soprano Simone Ibbett Brown as Khye-Rell show great musicality in their challenging roles” - The Spy in the Stalls

RUNE, Hackney Round Chapel, Tete a tete Festival (Khye-Rell)

“Mezzo Simone Ibbett-Brown proved utterly in control of her instrument, if we may call it that, dazzlingly so when dovetailing with other members of the ensemble. Differences were revealed too, as they were between other players, ultimately revealed as penumbra to her lament for Dr King.” - Seen and Heard International

London Sinfonietta, Kings Place (mezzo-soprano soloist in Berio’s O King)

"Simone Ibbett-Brown’s Melissa is the glowing, warm-hearted voice of reassurance as she calls Ruggiero back to his senses." - Classical Source

"Ibbett-Brown handed down her moral judgements with an august, wide-grained mezzo, streaked with just enough pain to give the drama some stakes." - Midlands Music Reviews

"Simone Ibbett-Brown gives a highly thoughtful and nuanced performance as Bradamante" - Music OMH

La liberazione di Ruggiero, Longborough Festival Opera (Melissa/Bradamante)

“The merging of different art forms musically is spell-binding” - The Reviews Hub

A Tale of Orpheus & Eurydice, Opera North (opera-maker)

“The director Simone Ibbett-Brown told her story through the small details: the fretting, flickering fingers of Lauren Easton’s elderly Juliana Bordereau, picking out a jerky tattoo on the arms of her wheelchair; the too-smooth movements of Jacob Bettinelli’s Henry Jonson, deliciously underscored by the bluesy strut of the orchestral writing whenever he spoke of his quest; the awkward desire of Alison Buchanan’s Tina.” - Opera Magazine

The Aspern Papers, Pegasus Opera (director)

“The script has a bright humour and keen eye for idiosyncrasies of personality and power… ambitious, original and playful.” - Exeunt (for the stage production, which I think you already should have three or four pull quotes for)

“There is a liberating charm that balances its personal, political and social messages in the managed chaos of it all. … There are tones of sketch shows such as Not the Nine O’Clock News and Brasseye in Berkeley-Agyepong and Ibbett-Brown’s approach…while asking the audience and themselves some big…questions.” - The Reviews Hub (for the filmed/online version)

Shuck’n’Jive, Soho Theatre On Demand (co-writer)

Career
highlights

  • Amneris, Aida (Opera Festival Scotland)
  • Grace, Opera Mums (BBC Four)
  • Melissa, La liberazione di Ruggiero (Longborough Festival Opera)
  • Soloist, Mami Wata (Royal Opera House, Pegasus Opera)
  • Soloist, Earth Song Cycle (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment)
  • Soloist, Four AfroCuban Songs (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • Playwright, director, The Anonymous Lover (Glyndebourne Touring Opera)
  • Playwright, composer, Shuck’n’Jive (Soho Theatre)
  • Director, FEAST (Wilton’s Music Hall)
  • Course curator, Artist-activism: using your voice for good (Guildhall School of Music & Drama)

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gallery

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