Natalie is noted in the opera world for being a charming and gifted stage creature with a bright, lyrical voice and superb acting ability. She was born in Melbourne, Australia, began her vocal studies at the Victorian College of the Arts in 1993 with renowned baritone Ronald Maconaghie, and very soon became the recipient of numerous awards and prizes at local and national competitions. In 1995 she became at the time the youngest winner of The Australian Singing Competition, winning the Marianne Mathy Award and a place at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Before leaving Australia for the UK in 1996, she was accepted into the Australian National Academy of Music Vocal Program in Brisbane under the auspices of Dame Joan Sutherland. During this time Natalie performed with Opera Australia, the Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, and the Victorian Arts Centre Celebration Series.
Once in London she joined the prestigious Opera Course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (studying with Johanna Peters and Rudolf Piernay), supported by The Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Sybil Tutton Award from the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund. In 1998 she was awarded the Miriam Licette Scholarship, the Australian Musical Foundation Award and was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards at Wigmore Hall. That year she appeared in her very first UK opera performances starring as Musetta in “La Boheme” for British Youth Opera at the Royal Festival Hall, and Miss Wordsworth in “Albert Herring” at the Guildhall.
Concert appearances include Handel’s “Jephtha” with RIAS Berlin and Marcus Creed, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Oslo Baroque, Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Dennis Russell Davies and her debut at the 1998 Aldeburgh Festival with Skip Sempé and Capriccio Stravagante. An accomplished and passionate recitalist, she has regularly performed at Wigmore Hall, St Martin in the Fields, Windsor Castle and Government House, Sydney. She has recorded and broadcast in her native Australia, RTE Ireland and for BBC Radio Three and Four.
She began her close five year association with Welsh National Opera in 1999 as Constance in Phyllida Lloyd’s production of “The Carmelites”, and immediately returned to Opera Australia where she made her highly acclaimed debut as Susanna in “Le Nozze di Figaro” – a role one leading critic exclaimed “seems to have been written for her”. Her debut with English National Opera followed as the Soprano Soloist in Bach’s “St. John Passion” in 2000 directed by Deborah Warner.
Natalie remained as Principal Artist at Welsh National Opera until 2004 where she became the first recipient of the WNO Sir John Moores Award and a Coutts Scholarship. Her roles with WNO included Sophie (“Der Rosenkavalier”), Euridice (Gluck’s “Orfeo”), Gilda (“Rigoletto”), Pamina (“Die Zauberflöte”), Marzelline (“Leonora”), Adele (“Die Fledermaus”), Adina (“L’elisir d’amore”), Zerlina (“Don Giovanni”), Despina (“Cosi Fan Tutte”) and Susanna (“Le Nozze di Figaro”).
During her time at WNO Natalie was a Finalist representing Australia in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 2001, and in 2002 she made her debut with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Zerlina (“Don Giovanni”) in a new production by Francesca Zambello under Sir Charles Mackerras. In 2004 she returned to Australia to reprise her performances of Susanna in Neil Armfield’s production of “Le Nozze di Figaro” at the Sydney Opera House.
2011 performances included the Soloist for Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra; “Les Illuminations” by Benjamin Britten with Camerata of St. John’s, Brisbane; and the Soloist in Mahler’s 4th Symphony for Queensland Symphony.
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