Artist Biography

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Sydney-born Yvonne Kenny is one of the most distinguished sopranos of her generation. She made her London operatic debut in 1975 in Donizetti’s Rosmonda d'Inghilterra. After winning the Kathleen Ferrier Competition she joined the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where her roles have included Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Ilia (Idomeneo), Marzelline (Fidelio), Oscar (Un ballo in maschera), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Adina (L'elisir d'amore), Liu (Turandot), Aspasia (Mitridate) and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni). She has built herself an enviable international reputation as a dazzling interpreter of Handel’s soprano roles including tile roles Semele and Alcina (Covent Garden, La Fenice, Opera de Nancy), Romilda/Xerxes/English National Opera/Bayerische Staatsoper, Cleopatra/Giulio Cesare (Green Room Award), Armida/Rinaldo/Opera Australia and Deborah/BBC Proms.

International appearances include Wiener Staatsoper (Susanna, Cinna/Lucia Silla, Countess/Capriccio); La Scala, Milan (Pamina); Staatsoper/Berlin (Countess/Capriccio, La Didone); Opera de Paris (Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni); Hamburg (Oscar); English National Opera (Marschallin/Der Rosenkavalier and The Fairy Queen); Zurich/Glyndebourne (Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni), Countess/Le nozze di Figaro/Washington/Bayerische Staatsoper. She returns frequently to Australia in roles including Gilda (Rigoletto), Pamina, Susanna, Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Cleopatra, Alice Ford (Falstaff), Maria Stuarda, Alcina, Manon and L’incoronazione di Poppea.

Roles performed in Australia include Gilda (Rigoletto), Pamina, Susanna, Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Cleopatra, Alice Ford (Falstaff), Maria Stuarda, Alcina, Manon and L’incoronazione di Poppea.

Yvonne Kenny appears regularly on the concert platform including Edinburgh, Salzburg and Aix-en-Provence Festivals, New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Wigmore, Festival and Royal Albert Halls and at the BBC Promenade concerts. She was the first artist to give an official performance at the newly reopened Royal Opera House (a recital in Floral Hall). Australian performances include national tours for Musica Viva, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Brandenberg Orchestra as well as regular guest appearances with the Australian symphony orchestras in a broad range of repertoire. 

Recent performances have included Countess/Capriccio (Dresden), Marschallin (Vienna), The Merry Widow, Marschallin, La Voix Humaine and Blanche (A Streetcar Named Desire) for Opera Australia, Jocasta/Oedipus Rex (Sydney Festival), Fledermaus and a national concert tour with David Hobson for OA - Singing for Love, The Merry Widow at UK’s West Green House and concerts with the MSO.

Her numerous recordings include Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Decca/Solti); Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mitridate, Lucio Silla (Teldec/Harnoncourt); Elgar’s The Kingdom (RCA/Slatkin); Stravinsky’s Pulcinella (Sony/Salonen); The Beggar’s Opera (Collins/Bedford); Gloriana (Decca/Mackerras), Handel’s Deborah (Hyperion/King), Mozart arias with the ACO, Entre Nous: Celebrating Offenbach (Opera Rara), the Marschallin and Great Operatic Arias (Chandos) and Mahler 2 (LPO/Tennstedt). She is internationally recognised for her recordings of French and Italian ‘bel canto’ repertoire for Opera Rara including the award-winning Emilia di Liverpool. On the ABC Classics label her recordings include the award-winning Simple Gifts, Something Wonderful, Handel Arias with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (Best Classical Recording in the 1998 Aria Awards), A Christmas Gift, A Portrait of Yvonne Kenny, Make Believe, The Salley Gardens, Clair de lune, The Divine Yvonne Kenny and, most recently, Vienna City of my Dreams with the MSO under Richard Bonynge.

Yvonne Kenny was made a Member of the Order of Australia for Services to Music in 1989 and in 1999 was conferred an honorary Doctorate of Music by the University of Sydney. She is Professor of Voice at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama and teaches at the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme of the ROH Covent Garden.

Click here to visit Yvonne's official website.