BBC Music Magazine
Times of change
A guide to Plowright’s career
1949 Born in Worksop, Plowright begins to sing as a child. She goes on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music and at the London Opera Centre.
1975 As a soprano, she makes her debut in a Glyndebourne Touring Opera production of Weber’s
1984 Plowright replaces the lead soprano at the last minute to sing opposite Luciano Pavarotti in Verdi’s Aida, to great acclaim. That same year she records Verdi’s Il trovatore with tenor Plácido Domingo for Deutsche Grammophon.
1994 During a run of Puccini’s Tosca at English National Opera, Plowright realises that her voice is no longer suited to singing soprano roles. 1999 She makes her debut as a mezzo-soprano as Amneris in Aida with Scottish Opera.
2007 Plowright is awarded an OBE for services to music.
2014 Plowright releases her first recital disc – as either a mezzo or soprano – La Belle dame Sans Merci, with pianist Philip Mountford, on Roméo Records.
2016 A DVD of her performance in Poulenc’s Les dialogues des Carmélites wins a BBC Music Magazine Award.
2018 A role in Barber’s Vanessa marks Plowright’s debut at the Glyndebourne Festival.