Donna Balson began her formal musical education in her native Australia at the Conservatorium High School in Sydney, continuing on at the Conservatorium to achieve her Bachelor of Music Degree and the Diploma of Operatic Arts. She was immediately offered a contract with the Australian Opera and made her solo debut there singing the title role in the world premiere of the Australian contemporary opera The Little Mermaid by Anne Boyd. During her seasons with this company she has performed and covered diverse roles ranging from Chava in Fiddler on the Roof to the title role in Alban Berg's Lulu and Leonora in Il Trovatore.
Recent engagements include the title role in Tosca with Canterbury Opera, New Zealand and with the Bridgeport Symphony in the US; Margherita in Boito’s Mephistofele with Bob Jones University and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Jacksonville Symphony. Ms. Balson sang the role of Anna in Nabucco with Opera Australia and Micaela in Carmen with the Ardmore Chamber Opera in New York; Brahms’ German Requiem with the Hofstra Symphony Orchestra in New York as well as concerts with the Symphony of the Americas and the American Chamber Ensemble. Her repertoire includes the role of Leonora in La Forza del Destino which she performed with New Zealand’s Canterbury Opera and Verdi’s Requiem in which she appeared with the Tucson Symphony and the China National Symphony. She was the featured soloist at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles with Long Beach Opera’s production of Virginia Woolf’s play Freshwater with music by Rebecca Clarke.
Her operatic engagements have included work with European companies such as Oper Frankfurt, Frankfurter Kammeroper, Düsseldorf Opera and the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart. She traveled to Sri Lanka to appear with Opera Lanka as Violetta in La Traviata and revisited Australia to sing Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte and the title role in La Cenerentola with Opera Queensland. As an ensemble member of the Operaworks Company in New York she has performed the roles of the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos and, for the New York premiere in April 2000, Nina in The Seagull by Pasatieri. With New York’s Ardamore Chamber Opera she has performed the roles of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and the title roles in Tosca and Madama Butterfly.
An avid concert performer and enthusiast for both contemporary and classical music, she has appeared as a soloist with orchestras and chamber ensembles in Europe and the US as well as Australia. She has also performed as a recitalist, most recently in a concert tour of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Her European concert debut was with the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra in Amsterdam as soloist in the European premiere of the Celebration for the Dead, A Japanese Requiem by British composer James Stevens. She has sung with the Prague Symphony, the Hessischer Rundfunk and the Residentie Orchest Den Haag, among others, in repertoire ranging from Bach through Verdi to Nono. In Sydney she appeared with the Sydney Opera House Orchestra in the St Matthew Passion, with the Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra in the St John Passion and with the Seymour Contemporary Music Ensemble and the Contemporary Singers in various works including Stravinsky’s Les Noces. She made her New York concert debut with the National Chorale at Lincoln Center in “An Evening with Gershwin and Bernstein” and has since performed regularly with the Chorale as soloist in works including the Bach B Minor Mass and Mozart’s Requiem and Coronation Mass. Donna Balson appears on the recording of Schoenberg’s Die Glückliche Hand with the Hessischer Rundfunk Orchestra. She can also be heard on the EMI Australia children’s CDs “Have you any wool?” and “Three Bags Full”.
She has sung with conductors including David Agler, Brian Castles-Onion, Carlo Felice Cillario, Paul Daniel, Heinrich Holreiser, Ingo Metzmacher, David Porcelijn and Simone Young, and has worked with stage directors such as John Copley, Peter Mussbach, Katherina Lang and James Lucas.
home · biography · media · press · repertoire · · contact