Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds was a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, 2015-2017. As an artist, Ms Edmonds values collaboration, innovation, and imagination.
EMILY EDMONDS, MEZZO-SOPRANO
Recognised as a "superb singer-actor" with a "coloured and thrilling" voice, Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds is sought out for her interpretations of both contemporary and traditional work. As an artist, Ms Edmonds values collaboration, innovation, and imagination, and is enlivened by rigorous music-making and interrogative theatre-making.
In the 2023-2024 season Ms Edmonds performed a staging of Saariaho’s Quatre Instants with Sydney Chamber Opera and Carriageworks, in the earth.body.voice triple bill. Her performance was praised as “sophisticated and impassioned” (ABC Limelight) with “vocal lines of haunting, softly coloured luminescence, in sounds that were comforting, velvety and strong” (Sydney Morning Herald). In November of 2023 Ms Edmonds makes her State Opera of South Australia debut as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro. In the 2021-2022 season Ms. Edmonds performed as the mezzo soprano for Britten/Styles' Canticles/Awakening Shadow with Sydney Chamber Opera, and returned to Phoenix Central Park and Sydney Chamber Opera to perform the recital and recording project In Song, comprised of Saariaho's Quatre Instants, Symonds’ Nothing other than silence, and Barber’s Hermit Songs.
In 2019-2020, Ms. Edmonds garnered widespread critical acclaim for her performance as the mezzo-soprano in Venables' Denis & Katya, first performing in the world premiere at Opera Philadelphia, where she offered a "molasses-and-honey mezzo" (Broadway World) and "riveting artistry" (The Arts Desk), then went on to join Music Theatre Wales in the UK premiere and subsequent UK tour of the work. In the same season, Ms. Edmonds reprised the title role for the award-winning virtual production of Ravel's L'enfant et les sortileges produced by Vopera and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and debuted the role of Dorabella in Classical Opera Company's Cosi fan tutte.
In 2018-2019, she returned to the Royal Opera House to sing Varvara in Richard Jones' Olivier Award-winning new production of Katya Kabanova, debuted the title role in L'enfant et les sortileges at the Komische Oper Berlin, returned to Pinchgut Opera to sing Semira in the Australian premiere of Hasse's Artaserse, and joined the Verbier Festival to sing Mlle. Dangeville in Adriana Lecouvreur.
Ms Edmonds enjoyed a two-year tenure as a Young Artist with the Royal Opera House's Jette Parker Young Artist Programme. In the 2016-2017 Royal Opera House season, she sang Agathe/Dargelos in Philip Glass' Les Enfants Terribles for the Royal Opera and Ballet at the Barbican, Madrigal Singer in Manon Lescaut, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Tebaldo in Don Carlo, and covered Magdalene in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg, Emilia in Otello, and Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte. In 2015-2016, Ms Edmonds was in the world premiere of Philip Venables' 4.48 Psychosis for the Royal Opera at Lyric Hammersmith, and sang Aglaea/Atropos/Bacchus in Orpheus at Shakespeare's Globe, Kätchen in Werther, and Suor Cercatrice in Suor Angelica. Also in 2015, she made her company debut with Pinchgut Opera as Asteria in Vivaldi's Bajazet, available as a CD recording on the Pinchgut Live label along with her later performance as Semira in Artaserse.
In her 2014 season she performed two engagements with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, as the soloist in Elgar's Sea Pictures and as Dritte Magd in Strauss' Elektra. 2013 performances included the Australian premiere of Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill, where she “in full-toned, creamy voice” was “able to capture perfectly the contrasts between the duplicitous politician and his wife while singing the pants off of Crimp’s brilliant language with real engagement" (ABC Limelight). In 2013 she also performed Kate Julian in Owen Wingrave with Sydney Chamber Opera, and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro with Opera New England.
Ms. Edmonds holds a myriad of prestigious awards and grants for her vocal artistry. She was awarded the Dame Nellie Melba alumni grant in the 2022-2023 season, the Dame Heather Begg Memorial Award in the 2017-2018 season, received awards from the Australian Music Foundation in 2016, the Tait Memorial Trust in 2015-2016, and was awarded an Australia Council for the Arts ArtStart grant in 2015 in support of her vocal and language development abroad. In the 2013-2014 season, Ms. Edmonds was named a Dame Nellie Melba Scholar and Patrick & Vivian Gordon awardee for the Melba Opera Trust.
Ms Edmonds’ theatrical background has been formative to her identity as a performer. Her training and experience include performances, national tours, and comprehensive acting study, particularly with Australian Theatre for Young People and the Fresh Ink project.
As a creative and theatre-maker, Ms Edmonds is also passionate about Directing. In 2023 she was assistant director for Sydney Chamber Opera and Carriageworks on La voix humaine and Quatre Instants, (earth.body.voice triple bill) alongside her role performing in the project. In 2022 she assisted on Britten/Styles' Canticles/Awakening Shadow, also whilst performing in the work. She was assistant and cover director, as well as directing Cast B performances, on Richard Jones’ production of Der Rosenkavalier in its 2018 revival at Glyndebourne Festival. Her future engagements include further international directing and theatre-making collaborations.
Ms Edmonds was a member of the Atelier Lyrique vocal programme at the Verbier Festival in 2018. Before her tenure at the Royal Opera House, she was a Resident Artist for Sydney Chamber Opera and a Young Artist with Pacific Opera Young Artist Programme. Ms Edmonds values contributing to the international creative community, as both a mentor and thought-leader. She hosts and produces a podcast for performers, entitled Show Notes, and is an official mentor for the Jette Parker Young Artist flagship mentoring scheme.
Ms Edmonds holds a First-Class Honours Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.