After completing a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australian soprano Anita Watson graduated with honours from the Australian Opera Studio. She was a member of the Cologne Opera Studio 2006-7 and the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from 2007-9.
She has won prizes in many prestigious competitions including the Australian Singing Competition, the Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, Neue Stimmen in Germany and the Plácido Domingo Operalia competition. In 2009 she was awarded the first prize and the audience award at the international ARD Music Competition in Munich and in 2010 the SWR Emmerich-Smola Prize.
As a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden her roles included the title role in Donizetti's Rita, Gretel Hänsel und Gretel, First Lady Die Zauberflöte, Second Woman Dido and Aeneas, Naiad Ariadne auf Naxos and Flowermaiden Parsifal.
She made her debut with Opera Australia as Donna Anna Don Giovanni and her international engagements have further included The Governess The Turn of the Screw and Donna Anna Don Giovanni at the Teatro La Fenice, Venice, Donna Anna Don Giovanni at the Landestheater Salzburg, Mimì La bohème for the Nederlandse Reisopera and Fifth Maid Elektra at the Salzburg Festival.
Anita Watson has appeared worldwide in concerts, recitals and television and radio broadcasts, particular highlights including Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Richard Strauss Four Last Songs with the Rheinische Philharmonie, Koblenz, and the Mariinksy Orchestra, St Petersburg. Her recordings include Ariadne auf Naxos for Chandos CD.
Conductors with whom she has worked include Julia Jones. Speranza Scappucci, Sir Colin Davis, Patrick Davin, Andreas Delfs, Sir Mark Elder, Daniele Gatti, Leo Hussain, Lothar Koenigs, Antonello Manacorda, Sir Antonio Pappano, David Syrus, Jeffrey Tate and Mark Wigglesworth.
Her recent engagements have included Governess The Turn of the Screw at the Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, Donna Anna Don Giovanni for Scottish Opera, Pamina Die Zauberflöte for Welsh National Opera, a return to the Royal Opera, London, as First Lady Die Zauberflöte, Mimì La bohème for Opera North, Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago and Flowermaiden Parsifal at the BBC Proms.
Current engagements include Fiordiligi Così fan tutte for Diva Opera, Donna Anna Don Giovanni for the Nederlandse Reisopera, a Viennese Gala with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a wide range of concerts throughout the UK.
Please note that this biography is not to be used for programmes. Current information is available on request.
Governess: The Turn of the Screw / Teatro La Fenice
“Her free, generous use of a blessedly fresh, full, unforced lyric soprano promises much for the future.”
Donna Anna: Don Giovanni / Scottish Opera
“The best singing comes from Anita Watson’s Anna – a sincere and refined performance.”
“Vocal honours must go to Anita Watson’s Donna Anna…”
The Reviews Hub
“…gave a very impressive account of Anna’s arias.”
Seen and Heard International
Mimì: La bohème / Nederlandse Reisopera
“Anita Watson sang an endearing Mimì. Her charisma and crystal clear voice gave Mimì exactly the tenderness the role needs and she sang wonderfully in her death scene.”
Opera Magazine NL
Mimì: La bohème / Opera North
“Most of the audience I guess were new to opera, and genuinely startled and moved by Mimì’s decline and Rodolfo’s panic. Here the performances of Anita Watson and Ji-Min Park were at their impassioned best."
Anne Trulove: The Rake’s Progress / Teatro Municipal de Santiago
“The cast is dominated by the tender and soft soprano of Anita Watson, whose voice displays perfect and almost supernatural delicacy.”
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