Praised as a "superb singer-actor" with a “coloured and thrilling” voice, Australian mezzo-soprano Emily Edmonds is a unique performing artist. Sought out for her interpretations of both contemporary and traditional work, Ms Edmonds freelances for companies across Europe, the UK, US, and Australia. She was a Young Artist with the Royal Opera House’s prestigious Jette Parker Young Artist Programme, from 2015-2017.
As an artist, Ms Edmonds values collaboration, innovation, and imagination. She is enlivened by rigorous music-making and interrogative theatre-making, and brings a broad spectrum of skills and experience to her work as a performer and creative. Ms Edmonds is especially adept at high mezzo-soprano and Zwischenfach roles, across both contemporary and traditional repertoire.
Her 20th and 21st Century repertoire credits include the title role of L’Enfant for the award-winning virtual production of Ravel’s L'enfant et les sortilèges, produced by Vopera and the London Philharmonic Orchestra in late 2020. This production won both South Bank Sky Arts and Royal Philharmonic Society Awards. Ms Edmonds first performed the role of L’Enfant at the innovative Komische Oper Berlin in 2019.
Earlier in 2020, Ms Edmonds performed the UK premiere of Venables’ acclaimed Denis & Katya, which she toured throughout the UK with Music Theatre Wales. Prior to this, she made her US debut with this work, performing as part of its World Premiere season for Opera Philadelphia. In 2019, Ms Edmonds performed the role of Varvara in Richard Jones' Olivier Award-winning new production of Katya Kabanova, at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
In the 2016/17 Royal Opera House season, she performed the role of Agathe/Dargelos in Philip Glass' Les Enfants Terribles for the Royal Opera and Ballet at the Barbican. In the 2015/16 ROH season, Ms Edmonds was one of the original cast members in the world premiere of Philip Venables’ critically acclaimed new opera 4.48 Psychosis, for the Royal Opera at Lyric Hammersmith.
Other notable contemporary credits include the Australian premiere of George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill, and the role of Kate Julian in Britten’s Owen Wingrave, for Sydney Chamber Opera and Sydney Festival.
To her interpretation of traditional repertoire, Ms Edmonds brings her unique spirit of imagination and curiosity. This has been evidenced by her acclaimed international performances in Baroque and Mozartian works, as well as other key pieces in the canon.
In the 2019/20 season, Ms Edmonds performed the role of Dorabella in Classical Opera Company’s Così fan tutte. She earlier covered this role for the Royal Opera House. In the 2018/19 season, Ms Edmonds performed the role of Semira in Pinchgut Opera’s International Opera Award-winning production of Hasse's Artaserse. For Pinchgut Opera, she has also performed the role of Asteria in Vivaldi’s Bajazet. Both performances are available as a CD recording on the Pinchgut Live label.
In the 2016/17 Royal Opera House season, Ms Edmonds performed the roles of Madrigal Singer in Manon Lescaut, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and Tebaldo in Don Carlo. She also covered the roles of Magdalene in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Emilia in Otello, and Dorabella in Così fan tutte. Her roles in the 2015/16 ROH season included Aglaea / Atropos / Bacchus in Orpheus at Shakespeare’s Globe, as well as Käthchen in Werther and Alms Sister in Suor Angelica, on the main stage.
Significant song credits include Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the Australian Premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s Quatre instants. Ms Edmonds was also a member of the Verbier Festival’s Atelier Lyrique vocal programme.
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. She has worked as both an assistant and cover director, including on Richard Jones’ production of Der Rosenkavalier in its 2018 revival at Glyndebourne Festival. Her future engagements include further international directing and theatre-making engagements.
Ms Edmonds holds a First-Class Honours degree in Vocal Performance from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She was the Dame Nellie Melba Scholar and Patrick & Vivian Gordon awardee for the Melba Opera Trust. In 2015, Ms Edmonds was awarded an Australia Council for the Arts ArtStart grant, in support of her vocal and language development abroad. She is an awardee of the Australian Music Foundation and the Tait Memorial Trust. Ms Edmonds is also a recipient of the Dame Heather Begg Memorial Award.
Ms Edmonds values contributing to the international creative community, as both a mentor and thought-leader. She is an official mentor for the Jette Parker Young Artist flagship mentoring scheme, and also hosts and produces a podcast for performers, entitled Show Notes.