University honours soprano and astrophysicist

The University of Manchester has presented honorary degrees to British dramatic soprano Susan Bullock CBE and astrophysicist Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell at its Winter graduation ceremonies.

Susan Bullock was presented with a Doctor of Music (MusD) by Professor Jeremy Gregory, Head of the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures.

Her unique position as the world’s most sought-after British dramatic soprano was recognised with the award of a CBE in June 2014.

Renowned for her interpretations of strong operatic heroines, Bullock adds to her repertoire with two contrasting role debuts this season: Minnie in English National Opera’s new production of The Girl of the Golden West; and Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd for Houston Grand Opera, which marks her first foray into music theatre.

She became the first soprano to sing Brünnhildes in four consecutive cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen when she performed in the Royal Opera House Covent Garden’s production as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. She has sung this role at a range of international venues including Wiener Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, Opera Australia, the New National Theatre, Tokyo, and Canadian Opera Company.

Her other notable engagements include highly popular appearances at the Last Night of the Proms 2011 and at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE, FRS, PRSE FRAS was presented with a Doctor of Science (DSc) by the Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy, Professor Steve Watts.

Bell Burnell is a Northern Irish astrophysicist.  As a radio astronomy graduate student she inadvertently discovered pulsars, opening up a new branch of astrophysics - work recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to her supervisor.

She has subsequently worked in many roles in many branches of astronomy. She was President of the Royal Astronomical Society from 2002 to 2004, President of the Institute of Physics from October 2008 until October 2010.   She was elected as President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in October 2014, succeeding Sir John Arbuthnott.  In March 2013 she was appointed a Pro Vice Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin.

Notes for editors

 Photo of Susan Bullock receiving her Doctor of Music