Charismatic young Mezzo-Soprano Wendy Dawn Thompson attracted world-wide attention when she represented her home country of New Zealand in the final of the 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. Now residing in the United Kingdom she enjoys an international career of operatic, recital and concert appearances. Her engaging performances in a wide ranging repertoire make her a favourite with audiences and critics alike. Of her recent performances of Handel Messiah in New Zealand, journalist Rod Biss wrote in the New Zealand Opera News "Wendy Dawn Thompson was in top form. Dignified yet expressive, she also added sensitive decoration and her voice was in perfect control throughout its wide range. Her singing of 'He was despised' was heartfelt yet restrained - one of many highlights in the performance. it was hard to believe that this was the same performer we had seen earlier in the year living it up as the extrovert star of Rossini's Italian Girl in Algers. It makes me keen, impatient even, to see what she does with Cherubino in this years Marriage of Figaro."
A gifted and energetic performer, Wendys' operatic appearances have seen her shooting across the stage on a Segway, climbing 3 metre walls, singing in the rain, balancing on top of a caravan and adorned in motorcycle leather from top to toe. She considers herself fortunate to have worked at many leading opera houses and her appearances include the world première of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Sesto (La clemenza di Tito) with Opera Australia and Messenger (Orfeo) at English National Opera. She has also debuted as Varvara (Katya Kabanova) for Opera North and with Scottish Opera in Cimarosa's The Secret Marriage. She particularly enjoys the role of Der Komponist (Ariadne auf Naxos) which she has performed for Garsington Opera, Aldeburgh and Birmingham Opera Company. Last year she scored a critical success in the title role in Rossini L'Italiana in Algeri for NBR New Zealand Opera. She also performed the title role in Gluck's Orpheus et Euridice for Blackheath Halls and Ruggerio (Alcina) for English Touring Opera.
Wendy is equally at home on the song recital and concert platform. Recital appearances have seen her performing at Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh Festival, BBC Proms, Edinburgh International Festival and Bridgewater Hall. This year she looks forward to her first engagement collaborating with Andris Nelsons and the City of Birmingham Symphony. Other concert highlights include Beethoven Symphony No 9 and Elijah with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Magdalena (Die Meistersingers von Nürnberg) at the Edinburgh International Festival, Mahler Symphony No 2 with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra under Gilbert Kaplan and a tour of Mahler Lieder eines fahrenden gesellen with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Wendy began her vocal studies at Victoria University of Wellington and in 2000 was an Emerging Artist with NBR New Zealand Opera. Scholarship and competition wins enabled her to continue her studies in the United Kingdom and she completed her training at the Royal College of Music in 2004. In her final year of study she won the 2003 Kathleen Ferrier Prize and made her operatic debut with Garsington Opera as Dorabella (Cosi fan tutte). In 2010, Wendy is the inaugural Artist in Residence at Blackheath Halls in London and her appearances there will include solo recitals, performances of Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and a collaboration with the Laban Dance School. In the middle of the year she will return to New Zealand to make her role debut as Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro).
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Mahler Das Lied von der Erde