Yvonne Kenny is one of the most distinguished sopranos of her generation. She was born in Sydney and after achieving a BSc in Biochemistry, went to London to study voice. She made her operatic debut in 1975 after which she joined the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where she remained a member of the company until 1996.
International appearances include the Wiener Staatsoper, La Scala, Milan; Salzburger Festspiel, Staatsoper Berlin, Opera de Paris English National Opera, Zurich, Glyndebourne and the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. Both internationally and in Australia she has built an enviable reputation as a dazzling interpreter of works by Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart, Donizetti, Britten and more recently for her interpretations of the Richard Strauss heroines. She has appeared regularly on the concert platform including the Edinburgh and Aix-En-Provence Festivals, BBC Promenade concerts, at New York’s Carnegie Hall, and at London’s Wigmore, Festival and Royal Albert Halls. Australian performances include concerts with the Australian Brandenberg Orchestra, national tours for Musica Viva and the Australian Chamber Orchestra as well as guest appearances with all the symphony orchestras and with Opera Australia in a broad range of repertoire.
Recent performances have included Countess/Capriccio (Dresden State Opera), Marschallin/Der Rosenkavalier (Vienna State Opera/Opera Australia), The Merry Widow, La Voix Humaine, Dido/Dido & Aeneas and Blanche/Streetcar Named Desire (Opera Australia), Jocasta/Oedipus Rex (Sydney Festival), a special guest appearance in OA’s Fledermaus and OA’s Singing for Love national concert tour with David Hobson.
More than 60 international titles
Highlights in 2011 include Opera in the Alps, Twlight at Taronga, a recital in London’s King’s Recital Hall, the title role in The Merry Widow at UK’s West Green House. She has more than 60 international titles to her credit including Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro (Decca/Solti); Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Mitridate and Lucio Silla (Teldec/Harnoncourt); Elgar’s The Kingdom (RCA/Slatkin); Stravinsky’sPulcinella (Sony/Salonen); Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera (Collins/Bedford);Gloriana (Decca/Mackerras), Handel’s Deborah (Hyperion/King), Mozart arias with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Entre Nous: Celebrating Offenbach (Opera Rara), the Marschallin/Der Rosenkavalier and Great Operatic Arias (both on Chandos) and Mahler 2 (LPO/Tennstedt).
Award-winning ABC Classics recordings
She is internationally recognised for her recordings of French and Italian ‘bel canto’ repertoire for Opera Rara including the award-winning Emilia di Liverpool and was the voice of Dame Nellie Melba in the TV mini-series. On the ABC Classics label her recordings include the award-winning Simple Gifts, Something Wonderful, Handel Arias/Australian Brandenburg Orchestra/Aria Award, A Christmas Gift, A Portrait of Yvonne Kenny, Make Believe, The Salley Gardens, Clair de lune, The Divine Yvonne Kenny, Vienna City of my Dreams with the MSO under Richard Bonynge, Singing for Love (with David Hobson) and a Richard Strauss album including The Four Last Songs with the QSO under Johannes Fritszch.
She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1989 for services to music and conferred an Honorary Doctorate in Music by the University of Sydney in 1999. She is a Professor of Voice at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama.