Who is the opera singer in Bridgerton? Meet Rowan Pierce, the soprano voice behind Siena Rosso

4 February 2021, 17:29 | Updated: 5 February 2021, 12:13

Watch the Bridgerton trailer

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

The face of Siena Rosso is that of Poldark actress, Sabrina Bartlett – but those dazzling vocals come from British soprano and rising star, Rowan Pierce.

In the loveably genre-binding mishmash that is Bridgerton, preceded by a Shostakovich waltz – and some earwormy, string-based Billie Eilish in the previous episode – we are treated to the sublime ‘Belle nuit, ô nuit d’amour’, a duet for soprano and mezzo from French composer Offenbach’s opera, The Tales of Hoffman.

The beloved melody, also known as ‘Barcarolle’, is sung in episode four by opera-singing character Siena Rosso, who we hear the occasional warble from throughout the first season, mainly in connection with eldest Bridgerton brother Anthony, with whom she shares a forbidden romance.

As Siena trills away at one of the series’ many glittering soirées, Anthony watches her perform intently, eyes positively burning from across the ballroom.

But while it’s actress Sabrina Bartlett’s face we see on screen, the singing is all done by Yorkshire-born soprano, Rowan Pierce (yes, we were obsessed and scanned the credits).

Here’s all you need to know about Bridgerton’s concealed opera star...

Read more: Bridgerton soundtrack – how Taylor Swift became a Regency symphony >

Siena Rosso’s singing is done by operatic soprano Rowan Pierce
Siena Rosso’s singing is done by operatic soprano Rowan Pierce. Picture: Netflix

Who is the opera singer in Bridgerton?

Rowan Pierce, who lends her vocals to the character of opera singer Siena Rosso in Bridgerton, is an operatic soprano and rising star in the world of Baroque opera.

At 30 years old – relatively early in the career of an opera singer – Pierce’s mantelpiece is already brimming with accolades, including the Royal College of Music’s President’s Award, presented by HRH The Prince of Wales, as well as the Song Prize and First Prize at the inaugural Grange Festival International Singing Competition, and first place at the Schubert Society Singer Prize.

Pierce has recently been made a Rising Star of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and is one of the English National Opera’s Harewood Artists.

The star soprano regularly performs with world-class ensembles including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and has flexed her operatic muscles as Drusilla in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and Susanna in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro.

Here’s a taste of her singing, with some jubilant Handel alongside the Academy of Ancient Music:

Soprano Rowan Pierce sings jubilant Handel with the Academy of Ancient Music

Click here to listen to Classic FM’s award-winning true crime podcast, Case Notes >

Pierce was featured last year in The Timescountdown of 10 young stars in the making, winning praise for her “focused soprano voice and dazzling technique”.

Asked by MeetTheArtist about her career inspiration, Pierce answered: “Live music lit a fire in me that I’ve yet to find comparison to.

“I grew up with a Welsh grandad. I would sit with him and he would make up wild stories, right into my twenties. I’ve always loved being told a tale and I think that’s what audiences pay money for.”

Read more: Yes, Julie Andrews is the voice of narrator Lady Whistledown in ‘Bridgerton’ >

She continued: “Whatever the music is, anything that suspends reality and allows us to feel an emotion we’d forgotten or one that we needed to feel right at that moment, or even to be taught how to feel something.

“Music has taught me, in many ways, how to feel, the progression of emotions, how to calm them and how to ignite them.”

Join the Academy of Ancient Music online this Spring for AAM Live 2021, a three concert mini-festival live streamed from the West Road Concert Hall.