Born in Fleetwood, Lancashire, Rigby studied at the Birmingham School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. She made her debut with the English National Opera in 1977. She has sung with the Royal Opera and has been for many years a regular guest at the Glyndebourne Festival. At the 2008 Glyndebourne festival, she created the role of Martina Laborde in Peter Eötvös' opera Love and Other Demons. In the field of concert music, she has been a frequent soloist at the BBC Promenade Concerts.
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