One of New Zealand's most versatile young sopranos and a 2017 Freemasons New Zealand Opera Artist, Imogen Thirlwall "commands attention on stage as a fine actress...her voice has such lift and energy, galvanizing any role she takes on" (Radio New Zealand, 2015).

Imogen relocated to Germany in late 2017, awarded a Young Artist Scholarship to study at the Goethe-Institut in Berlin. In early 2018, she performed Wynton Marsalis: The Abyssinian Mass with the Soul of Berlin Jazz Orchestra and Singers at the Berliner Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal and made her European debut as Musetta in a concert version of La bohème with Berlin Italian Opera.

Imogen was a 2018 Berlin Art Song Festival Masterclass Artist with the opportunity to work intensively with Caroline Dowdle (Royal Opera House). Imogen was honoured to perform for the 2018 ANZAC Day (Australia New Zealand Army Corps, 1914-18) Commemorative Service at the Commonwealth War Graves in Grunewald, Berlin. 

Imogen is delighted to join Meininger Staatstheater for the remainder of the 2017/18 season as a soprano in the chorus with soloist duties, performing in productions of Cosi fan tutte, Tosca, Carmina Burana, Tannhäuser at Wartburg Castle, Evita, and the June premiere of Pirates of Penzance.

Operatic roles include Musetta: La bohème (Berlin Italian Opera); Frasquita (understudy): Carmen (New Zealand Opera); Papagena (understudy), 2nd Genie (understudy): Die Zauberflöte (New Zealand Opera); Despina: Cosi Fan Tutte (Wanderlust Opera; Days Bay Opera); Lieschen: The Coffee Cantata (Wanaka Arts Festival); Linfea: La Calisto, Annina: Der Rosenkavalier, Auretta: L’oca del Cairo (Days Bay Opera); Mercedes: Carmen (New Zealand Choral Federation); Hermia: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Zealand School of Music).

Sought after as a concert soloist, Imogen has performed works by Todd: Mass in Blue, Hanson: Hiawatha (southern hemisphere premiere), Faure: Requiem, Mozart: Requiem Mass, Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 2 Hymn of Praise, Mozart: Vesperae solennes de confessore, Haydn: Nelson Mass, Bach: Christmas Oratorio, and Schubert: Mass in C Minor.

Prizes include semi-finalist in the 2016 Lexus Song Quest, finalist in the 2015 New Zealand Aria, finalist in the Becroft Aria, finalist in the Otago Daily Times Aria, and twice winner of the 'most outstanding senior vocalist' award in the Wellington Regional Vocal Competition and Dame Malvina Major Foundation Aria.

A bookworm and feminist critical theory enthusiast, Imogen won a full scholarship to complete a Master of Music in Classical Performance Voice at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music (NZSM). Alongside her written thesis exploring Foucault’s ‘docile bodies’ theory, Imogen presented a lieder recital featuring Arnold Schoenberg's song cycle Das Buch der hängenden Gärten. Imogen also holds a First Class Honours Bachelor of Music in Classical Performance (NZSM), a BMus in Music Studies (NZSM) and a Bachelor of Arts in English Studies from Victoria University of Wellington.

Imogen was invited to present papers on her research at the Australian Musicological Society Conference The Charisma of Dissonance (2014) and Voyages of Discovery, the New Zealand Musicological Society Conference (2012). Imogen is alumna of the New Zealand Opera School (2011, 2012, 2013) and was awarded a 2012 Dame Malvina Major High Achiever’s Award.

Imogen is a featured Living Language writer and is proud to acknowledge the support of the Goethe-Institut New Zealand.


Photo credit Mary Sylvia Photography

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