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.
Her career to date includes performances at the Edinburgh International Festival, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Floral Hall and Clore Studio) and with Opéra National de Lyon. 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), Mother (Hansel and Gretel) for National Opera Studio, Desdemona (Otello) with Everybody Can! Opera, Micaëla (Carmen) for National Opera Studio, Violetta (La traviata), Musetta (La bohème) and the title role in Tosca for the Mediterranean Opera Festival in Sicily and, most recently, Tosca for English Touring Opera and Musetta (La bohème) for Scottish Opera. Nadine performed in a one-woman opera, The Woman Who Refused to Dance, composed by Shirley Thompson for the Tête-à-Tête Festival in July 2017. Nadine will sing the role of The Countess in The Marriage of Figaro for ETO in spring 2018.
Nadine has created the roles of Alicia, Swaharaga and Lucia for Nigel Osborne’s opera Naciketa, the role of Erin for Steven Kilpatrick’s Flight Paths and 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. Nadine 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 November 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 in March 2017.
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. In 2104, Nadine made her Purcell Room debut 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. Performances throughout 2017 include highlights from The Sound of Music with Warwickshire SO, Barber’s Knoxville – Summer of 1915 with West London Sinfonia, Dvorak’s Te Deum and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem with the Cohen Ensemble, Strauss’s Four Last Songs with Norfolk Symphony Orchestra and Poulenc’s Gloria with the Diversity Choir under Jan Rautio. Nadine has also been invited to perform a private recital at the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome in September 2017.
Nadine has worked closely with some of today’s most influential artists and has collaborated with Yinka Shonibare MBE on his film installation Addio del Passato. The multi-media work was premiered in New York before exhibiting at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2013. Her radio appearances have included ‘A Tribute to Malcolm McLaren’ on BBC Radio 2 as well as guest appearances on Radio 4’s ‘Midweek’ and ‘Woman’s Hour’ and Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’. Equally at home in the world of jazz, Nadine has performed throughout London, in particular the 12 Bar Club, and at various music festivals in the UK. In 2014 she recorded ‘Conversations’, a collection of jazz classics with Malcolm Edmonstone (piano), Harold Fisher (drums) and Percy Pursglove (double bass and trumpet).
In addition to her work as a performer, Nadine is a fully certified NLP Mind Coach and High Performance Coach and uses these skills to mentor others. Under the umbrella of her mentoring programme ‘Everybody Can!’, and supported by the Arts Council of England, Nadine devised Why Don’t You Just Sing Jazz? a celebration of the lives of black opera singers for the Grimeborn Festival in 2009. 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.
In 2014 Nadine was appointed an Ambassador for London Music Masters, a charity that encourages opportunity, diversity and excellence in classical music and was “highly commended” for her work as a mentor at the 2016 Aviva ‘Women of the Future Awards’.
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.
Nadine is a Founding Member of the International Opera Awards Advisory Council.