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B i o g r a p h y

is well known as a charismatic singer/actress, and sings regularly with the major opera companies and orchestras in Australasia. She is a champion of New Zealand music with an emphasis on women composers.

Margaret is Head of the Classical Voice department at Victoria University of Wellington, and a Senior Lecturer, Classical Performance - Voice, teaching singing in the Classical Performance programme as well as coordinating and lecturing voice-related courses. 

Margaret Medlyn grew up in a family actively involved in the theatre, music and the visual arts. She graduated from University of Auckland with a degree in singing, and after winning several scholarships, went to London for further study. There she was immediately employed by Kent Opera – a touring seasonal company – where she worked with such luminaries as Roger Norrington and Nicholas Hytner. Margaret also made her debut as Octavian with Opera Viva during this time. Relocating back to New Zealand after 10 years she spent the next 10 commuting back to Europe to sing in the UK and Europe.

Margaret Medlyn has sung with English National Opera, Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera and all the companies in Australasia, and worked with leading international conductors including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Simone Young, Donald Runnicles, Jeffrey Tate, Edo de Waart, Markus Stenz, Jaap van Sweden and Roger Norrington. Her roles include Leonore (Il trovatore), Aida, Tosca, Turandot, Giorgetta (Il tabarro), Maddalena (Andrea Chenier), Marie (Wozzeck), Salome, Judith (Bluebeard’s Castle), Agathe (Der Freischütz), Kostelnička (Jenufa) Kabanicha (Kátya Kabanová), various Rhinemaidens and Valkyries, Senta, Sieglinde, Isolde, Kundry and Fricka.

Margaret Medlyn has had a long and varied recital and concert career and is a National recording artist for Radio New Zealand and has recorded an extensive list of recital programmes. Her CDs are Burning Bright featuring the work of four New Zealand Women composers under the Kiwi Pacific label, a Jenny McLeod song cycle for the Waiteata Collection of New Zealand Music, Richard Fuchs songs for Rollover Productions and Stephan Prock’s prizewinning song cycle on the CD Sojourn.

She is a highly experienced voice teacher – she has taught in New Zealand and the UK in her private studio for 35 years, and at the New Zealand School of Music since 2007. For 14 years she tutored alongside Professor Paul Farrington at the New Zealand Opera School working with undergraduate and postgraduate students and Opera New Zealand’s Emerging Artists. Many of her students have had success in competitions including the prestigious Lexus Song Quest.

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