A dual national of New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Kirstin read English Literature and Italian at the University of Auckland before returning to her Scottish roots, joining the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. There, she gained a BMus(Hons) in Performance, and graduated Master of Opera with Distinction in 2008. Further study followed at the Cardiff International Academy of Voice with Dennis O’Neill.
Recent roles include a critically-acclaimed Elettra in Mozart’s Idomeneo at London’s Blackheath Halls Euryanthe Euryanthe (Weber) and Ada Die Feen (Wagner) in concert for the Chelsea Opera Group at the Cadogan and Queen Elizabeth Halls respectively, Mutter/Gertrud Hänsel und Gretel for Garsington Opera at West Green House and Donna Anna Don Giovanni for Regents Opera. Other operatic engagements include Samaritana Francesca da Rimini (Zandonai – Opera Holland Park), Helmwige Die Walküre (St Endellion Festival), Elettra Idomeneo, Vitellia La Clemenza di Tito (both in concert for Opus Opera), Angelica Suor Angelica (Beethoven Ensemble), High Priestess Aida (Raymond Gubbay Productions at the Royal Albert Hall), Magda (cover) La Rondine (British Youth Opera), Micaela Carmen (concert), Flowermaiden Parsifal (Fulham Music Festival) and chorus in Fidelio for the Garsington Festival. For the RSAMD Kirstin sang Tatyana Eugene Onegin, Nella Gianni Schicchi (both with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, and Edinburgh Festival Theatre), Fiordiligi Cosí fan tutte and covered Donna Anna Don Giovanni and Armida Rinaldo.
Kirstin’s concert performances include Messiah in Scotland and Germany with Lutz Köhler, Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Ravel’s Shéhérazade conducted by Stéphane Denève, Berlioz’ Nuits d’été with the St Petersburg State Academic Philharmonic, Verdi’s Requiem with Phillip Thomas and several appearances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, in excerpts from Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine and Dialogues des Carmelites, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Grieg’s Peer Gynt. For the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Radio 3, Kirstin was a soloist in Bartok’s Three Village Scenes, conducted by Ilan Volkov.
In demand as a recitalist and soloist for a wide range of oratorios, Kirstin has performed in locations as diverse as the Teatro Marcello (Festival delle Nazioni) in Rome, the Mill Theatre, Thurso, in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales, The Hub (Edinburgh Int’l Festival) and Christ’s College, Cambridge, presenting a range of repertoire that encompasses many periods, languages and styles.
Kirstin is an Independent Opera Post-Graduate Fellow, a Samling Artist and has attended the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme three times, studying with Sergei Leiferkus, Dame Anne Evans and Sir Thomas Allen. Kirstin was the runner-up in the 2014 Wagner Society of Great Britain’s Bayreuth Bursary competition, and holds a Goodall Scholarship from the Society. A semi-finalist in the 2008 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, Kirstin also reached the semi-finals of the 2009 and 2010 London Handel Singing Competitions,the 2009 Royal Overseas League and Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competitions, and the quarter-finals of the 2011 Queen Sonja International Music Competition, and 2013 Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition in Dublin. A past recipient of AdAstra Foundation and Aotea Centre Performing Arts Trust Awards, Countess of Munster Trust, Miriam Licette and Sybil Tutton Scholarships (Musicians Benevolent Fund), Kirstin also holds a silver medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
Kirstin will compete in the Wagnerstimmen Wettbewerb at Bayreuth in August 2015 as the nominee of the Wagner Society of Great Britain.