A New Zealander by birth, Wendy Dawn Thompson studied at Victoria University of Wellington, the Royal Northern College and Royal College of Music. She was the New Zealand Young Performer of the Year in 1998 and in 2000 was a Young Artist with NBR New Zealand Opera. In 2003 she won the Kathleen Ferrier Prize and the vocal award of the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition. In June 2005 she represented New Zealand in the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World where she reached the final.
She made her debut at Opera Australia in the Sydney Opera House as Dorabella Così fan tutte, returning to sing Sesto La clemenza di Tito. Other operatic engagements have included the world première of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Cimarosa The Secret Marriage for Scottish Opera, Der Komponist Ariadne auf Naxos for Garsington Opera in 2007 and in Aldeburgh, Dorabella and Argene in Vivaldi’s L’incoronazione di Dariof or Garsington Opera, Messenger Orfeo in a new production of Monteverdi’s opera at English National Opera, Varvara Katya Kabanova for Opera North, Minerva/Fortune Ulysses Comes Home and Flora La Traviata, directed by Graham Vick for Birmingham Opera Company, Meg Page Falstaff for English Touring Opera, and Grandmother/Austrian Woman/Dancing Girl The Death of Klinghoffer and the title role of L’italiana in Algeri for New Zealand Opera. Whilst a student she performed Hermia A Midsummer Night’s Dream for British Youth Opera, the title role in Handel’s Agrippina, Mrs Grose Turn of the Screw, Florence Pike Albert Herring, Second Lady The Magic Flute at the RCM, Irene in Handel’s Tamerlano at the RNCM and Olga Eugene Onegin for Opera Garden.
Wendy Dawn Thompson’s recent recital appearances have included performances at Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh Festival and Proms, Edinburgh International Festival, Bridgewater Hall, Belfast Festival for BBC Radio 3 and the Purcell Room. Her concert performances include Mozart Davidde Penitente with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Magdalena Die Meistersingers von Nürnberg at the 2006 Edinburgh International Festival, Beethoven Symphony No 9 and Elijah with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Mahler Symphony No 2 with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra under Gilbert Kaplan, Handel’s Messiah with the Philharmonia, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with Exeter Festival Chorus, Verdi’s Requiem with the Southbank Symphonia, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with the Liverpool Youth Orchestra, a BBC lunchtime concert at the Wigmore Hall in a concert performance of Janacek’s Diary of one who disappeared, and concerts with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Philharmonia.
Future plans include the title role of Gluck’s Orfeo in Blackheath, London and Ruggiero Alcina for English Touring Opera. Concerts include Bach B Minor Mass for the Ripon International Festival, Messiah on tour in New Zealand and a recital in Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge.