British lyric soprano Nadine Benjamin is a charismatic and versatile artist who is in increasing demand on both the operatic stage and the concert platform. She is also developing great renown as an exponent of song, in particular Verdi, Strauss, Berg and contemporary American song.
Nadine’s career to date includes performances at the Edinburgh International Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Floral Hall, Clore Studio and Crush Room) and with Opéra National de Lyon. Her principal roles include the title role in Aida, Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly), La Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro), Nadia in Tippett’s The Ice Break with Birmingham Opera Company directed by Graham Vick (“outstanding performance”, The Times), Desdemona (Otello) with Everybody Can! Opera, Violetta (La traviata), Tosca (Tosca) and Musetta (La bohème) for the Mediterranean Opera Festival in Sicily, Musetta for Scottish Opera and Tosca for English Touring Opera.
Nadine is currently singing The Countess (The Marriage of Figaro)for ETO and in July 2018 will sing the role of Ermyntrude in Mascagni’s Isabeaufor Opera Holland Park. Nadine is an ENO Harewood Artist and will make her debut with the Company at the start of the 2018/19 season as Clara (Porgy and Bess) followed by Musetta (La bohème).
Nadine performed at West End Live in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June and participated in the premiere of a work by Shirley Thompson in a special commemoration of the landing of MV Empire Windrush at Westminster Abbey on 22 June. Future plans include the title role in Puccini’s Tosca for Everybody Can! Opera, which she will also produce.
In 2014 Nadine created the principal role of Imoinda in the UK premiere of The Crossing, an opera by the Cuban-American composer Odaline de la Martinez, at the 5th London Festival of American Music. She has a long-running relationship with LFAM, and has performed song cycles by Bolcom, Child and Barber at the Festival as well as the European premiere of John Harbison’s Milosz Songs. At the 6th Festival in 2016, Nadine led a programme of works by female American composers, accompanied by Susanna Stranders. Nadine recorded the role of Mrs. Waters in Dame Ethel Smyth’s opera The Boatswain’s Mate for Retrospect Opera, also under the baton of de la Martinez, which was released in 2016 to critical acclaim and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She recently sang the title role in The Woman Who Refused to Dance, a dance with voice by British composer Shirley Thomspon, at the Tête à Tête Festival and reprised the role as part of the V&A Musuem’s exhibition ‘Opera: Passion, Power and Politics’.
In concert, Nadine has performed Berg’s Seven Early Songs, Canteloube’s Songs of the Auvergne, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, Schubert’s Mass no. 5, Strauss’s Four Last Songs and the soprano solos in both Mahler’s Symphony no. 4 and Handel’s Eternal Source of Light Divine. She made her Purcell Room debut in 2014 with a programme of song cycles by Copland, Harbison and Previn and later that year made her US recital debut at the National Opera Center, New York with Verdi songs and arias, a programme she repeated in London. She has sung the soprano solo in Poulenc’s Gloria at Coventry Cathedral and in Villebon, France, as well as with The Waynflete Singers and the English Chamber Orchestra at Winchester Cathedral, and has given numerous solo recitals at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden. Further performances include Barber’s Knoxville – Summer of 1915, Strauss’s Four Last Songs and Mahler 4 with West London Sinfonia, Poulenc’s Gloria, Dvorak’s Te Deum and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the Cohen Ensemble, Strauss’s Four Last Songs with Norfolk Symphony Orchestra, Poulenc’s Gloria with the Diversity Choir under Jan Rautio, Handel’s Messiah at Winchester Cathedral and numerous concerts including a private recital at the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome.
In 2015 Nadine founded ‘Everybody Can!’ to provide a platform to encourage others to believe in themselves and to support them in recognising that whatever they envision can be achieved. She was shortlisted in 2012 for the inaugural Genesis Prize, awarded to outstanding mentors who give others confidence and inspiration to achieve artistic excellence in their chosen profession. Nadine is an Ambassador for London Music Masters, a charity that encourages opportunity, diversity and excellence in classical music. Nadine was “highly commended” at the 2016 Aviva ‘Women of the Future Awards’ and invited to Buckingham Palace in recognition of her work as a mentor.
Hailed by ‘Opera Now’ magazine as one of their favourite top ten sopranos in “a new generation of sopranos who are destined to have impressive careers”, Nadine won the inaugural Fulham Opera Robert Presley Memorial Verdi Prize in 2015.