Amelia Watkins, SOPRANO
"a rich, glowing lyric sound destined for the heights" – opera news
Appreciated for her great dramatic instinct and her magnificent soprano voice, Amelia Watkins has performed with a great number of leading orchestras and opera companies. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Amelia has been praised for her Zerlina performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She is also the recipient of substantial grants and her talent has been recognized in other regional, national and international competitions. Amelia's repertoire goes from Bach's masterpieces to the creations of living composers.
Described by Opera News as having "a rich, glowing lyric sound destined for the heights", soprano Amelia Watkins has performed with leading orchestras and opera companies in the United States, Canada, Asia and Europe. Since her European debut at the Leipzig Gewandhaus, she has appeared with the Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, the Estates Theatre/National Theatre Prague, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Lincoln Centre, the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Verbier Festival, The National Arts Centre, EMPAC, Joe’s Pub, and in concert in
Hong Kong. Her operatic roles include Norina (Don Pasquale), Despina (Così fan Tutte), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Musetta (La Bohème), Mme. Herz (The Impresario), Gretel (Hansel & Gretel), Frasquita (Carmen), Dafne (Apollo e Dafne), and extensive scenes of Handel heroines Armida and Cleopatra performed with baroque orchestra. Oratorio roles include Handel's Messiah, the Requiem of Mozart, Fauré and Rutter (performed at Carnegie Hall), and of Manfred Trojahn (at the Gewandhaus), Mozart's Exultate, Jubilate and Coronation Mass, and Mahler's Symphony #2, performed at The National Arts Center in Ottawa.
Embracing musical styles from Bach to Berio and beyond, Amelia specializes in the works of living composers. She has sung premieres and works by Paola Prestini, Augusta Read Thomas, Missy Mazzoli, Michael Gordon, Greg Spears, Mikael Karlsson, Nick Hallett, and Mohammed Fairouz, and champions the texts of her fellow Albertan, librettist Royce Vavrek. For her portrayal of Mabrouka in the staged premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s opera Sumeida’s Song, part of the inaugural season of the Prototype Festival, Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times praised “the soprano Amelia Watkins, who brings bright sound and touching vulnerability to her performance”.
Amelia has been featured in recording on the Grammy-nominated album Vocabularies with Bobby McFerrin, Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s highly acclaimed opera Song From The Uproar, and on Albany Record’s New Growth. Her film and television work includes singing Casta diva in Breastmilk:The Movie (produced by Ricky Lake) and on Bravo TV Canada, performing songs by Cole Porter. Amelia sang Lucia’s Mad Scene and other works on Jeanine Oleson’s video installation exploring the human voice entitled “Hear, Here”, on view for 4 months at the New Museum.
A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Ms. Watkins is the recipient of multiple substantial grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, and has been recognized in other regional, national and international competitions. She has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival, a Young Artist at Berkshire Opera, a featured academy artist at the Verbier Festival, participant in the Cleveland Art Song Festival, the Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop with Thomas Quasthoff, and a resident performer with the Metropolitan Opera Guild outreach program.
Amelia is a citizen of Canada, Ireland (European Union), and the United States, and lives in Westchester County, NY with her husband, and dog, Donhenley.
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