Susannah Wapshott is unfazeable. She has to be: as staff répétiteur for Scottish Opera, her role translates to quick–fire knowledge of pretty much every aspect of the opera business…

Read the rest of this interview here.


Le nozze di Figaro- Scottish Opera (Chorus Master)—October 2016

“The other 'character' of note was the crisp, immaculately balanced chorus, trained by Susannah Wapshott.”

Andrew Clark, Opera

La bohème- Edinburgh Grand Opera (Conductor)—March 2016

“Orchestral excellence created an atmosphere of emotional cohesion which contributed to the overall affectivity of the production.”

★ ★ ★ ★—The Student Newspaper

L'elisir d'amore- Edinburgh Grand Opera (Conductor)—May 2015

“Right from the overture, in which she showcased Donizetti's instrumental voicing in a way we rarely hear, Wapshott led her ensemble with natural authority, shaping the phrases tellingly and giving the choral ensembles rhythmic vitality and momentum. So secure was the musical foundation...that the performance carried a weight and authority far beyond its means.”

Andrew Clark, Opera, July 2015

Il Trovatore- Scottish Opera (Chorus Master)—May 2015

“[The] chorus, under the direction of Susannah Wapshott, is very good indeed.”

★ ★ ★ ★—The Herald

“This is also a distinguished night for the company’s orchestra and chorus, both of them providing taut music-making and unstoppable dramatic momentum.”

★ ★ ★ ★—The Stage

“With the conductor, Tobias Ringborg, encouraging razor-sharp rhythms and ominous bass lines from the orchestra and the chorus delivering stonking denunciations of everyone, this is true Verdian music-making.”

★ ★ ★ ★—The Times

Orfeo ed Euridice- Scottish Opera (Chorus Master)—February 2015

“Chorus Master Susannah Wapshott should be proud of her of 20-strong singers who supported the action splendidly.”

★ ★ ★ ★—David Smythe, Bachtrack

Macbeth- Scottish Opera (Music Director/Pianist)—2014

“The biggest cheer of a thoroughly engaging evening in Dundee was reserved for the excellent pianist, Susannah Wapshott. She earned a hugely deserved ovation for what must be an exhausting performance.”

Opera Scotland

“This Macbeth gave another important showcase to Susannah Wapshott, the gifted repetiteur whose music direction from the piano has distinguished several of the company's previous touring shows and stylishly anchored this one; so gifted, indeed, that one wonders why Wapshott hasn't been given one of the main stage productions to conduct (or at least a couple of performances towards the end of a run, as she would have been elsewhere). In a piano-accompanied Macbeth there are a lot of notes for one person to play, but Wapshott took everything in her stride, using her fine touch to create orchestral timbres and demonstrating, as few conductors do, that Verdian cantilena is a balance between musical line and accompanying rhythm. Pacing, atmosphere, support for singers- all bespoke Wapshott's stylistic authority and inspirational influence.”

Andrew Clark, Opera, December 2014

Rodelinda- Scottish Opera (Conductor)—2013

“Was it coincidence that the only common denominator in the Verdi and Handel successes (at Scottish Opera), 12 months apart, was Susannah Wapshott, a full-time Scottish Opera repetiteur since 2010? Her stylistic command, directing from the piano, was crucial to La Traviata's success; her pacing and phrasing of Rodelinda from the harpsichord, in homogenous partnership with violin (Gabi Maas) and cello (Andrew Huggan), was never less than rhythmically alert and in tune with the stage. The most obvious example was the Act 2 prison duet, which Wapshott sculpted in a way that exquisitely supported the emotional drama. Her other key contribution was in getting the six singers to enunciate: every word was understandable. Wapshott clearly knows how to get the best out of an ensemble.”

Andrew Clark, Opera, December 2013

“Music director Susannah Wapshott, conducting from her tiny harpsichord, brought an entire palette of colour to the score and moved things along briskly.”

★ ★ ★ ★—David Smythe, Bachtrack

“Directed from the harpsichord by Susannah Wapshott, one of Scottish Opera's rising stars... The key player is Wapshott, whose pacing and phrasing, above all in the Act Two prison duet, show complete stylistic command.”

Andrew Clark, Financial Times

“[The ensemble] play with great skill in the most exposed of circumstances... and the singers and musicians are ably directed from the harpsichord by Susannah Wapshott.”

Simon Thompson, Seen and Heard International

The Miller's Wife, Mike Christie - Grimeborn Opera—August 2013

“Susannah Wapshott was heroic at the piano, standing in for what was clearly intended to be an orchestral accompaniment and unflappably providing over two hours of music.”

Planet Hugill

La Traviata- Scottish Opera (Music Director/Pianist)—2012

“The linchpin of the performance was Susannah Wapshott, directing from the piano with such a feeling for Verdi style that she really ought to be conducting a mainstage production. She made this performance feel like one. Her taut phrasing and virtuoso touch, never covering her singers, had me constantly imagining the sound of Verdi’s orchestra, so that—to name just one instance—the final Act 2 tableau was revealed in all its majestic breadth. Wapshott’s is a name to watch.”

Andrew Clark, Opera, December 2012

“Hardly a weak link, in fact, and sterling work from the super-efficient Susannah Wapshott, whose solo piano accompaniment suits the minimalist approach to a T.”

★ ★ ★ ★—The Scotsman

“Susannah Wapshott directs from the piano with such feeling for Verdian style that she really out to be conducting a mainstage production. This felt like one.”

★ ★ ★ ★—Financial Times

“The anchor for the cast is music director and pianist Susannah Wapshott… [her] pristine, classically played version of the music was as intellectually sound as it was unquestionably expressive.”

★ ★ ★—The Herald

“From the moment Susannah Wapshott, the music director, announces her arrival at the piano, the audience of 200 is spellbound.”

Featured article in The Times, Saturday October 27th 2012

“The music is provided by Susannah Wapshott brilliantly playing an upright piano as well as conducting the singers.”

James Munro, Northings Review

“Susannah Wapshott was the pianist who accompanied the opera, and this was an astonishing performance. Playing without a page turner and from a ring-bound score, Wapshott had a compelling, light touch and actually managed to sound like an orchestra. She was musical director too, responsible for setting the tone and pace, and from time to time would raise sometimes one hand, sometimes the other from the keys to direct the singers.”

★ ★ ★ ★—David Smythe, Bachtrack

“Susannah, clearly a versatile musician of the highest order.”

Robert Dawson Scott,

“The piano accompaniment by Susannah Washout (sic) was a tour de force of skill and stamina.”

Neil Jones, Opera Now

Il Barbiere di Siviglia- Scottish Opera (Continuo)—2011

“For once I had a good view of the orchestra and admired the deft finger work of Susannah Wapshott on the harpsichord.”

Carmen- Scottish Opera (Music Director/Pianist)—2010

“Susannah Wapshott’s piano playing was inspired… At the final curtain call, Carmen and Don Jose got strong applause, but the loudest applause was actually for Susannah Wapshott, and she deserved it!”

Les the prof’s blog

Carmina Burana- Edinburgh Studio Opera (Conductor)—2009

“The small orchestra of pianos and percussion was impressive and complimented the singers. The Musical Director, Susannah Wapshott, was worth watching alone as she sensitively conducted singers and musicians through a varied programme.”

★ ★ ★ ★—Edinburgh Guide 2009

Recital, Edinburgh Festival—August 2009

“Wapshott plays with dexterity, fluency and with great warmth and tenderness.”

★ ★ ★ ★—The Herald