Quickly gaining a reputation for her fluid technique and dramatic flair, Canadian soprano Amelia Watkins has performed with leading orchestras and opera companies in the U.S., Canada, Asia and Europe.
Described by Opera News as having "a rich, glowing lyric sound destined for the heights", Amelia has recently appeared with the New York City Opera, the Estates Theatre/National Theatre Prague, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, Weill Hall, Lincoln Centre, the Tanglewood Music Festival, the Verbier Festival (Switzerland), the Gewandhaus (Germany), The National Arts Centre (Ottawa), and in concert in Hong Kong. Her operatic roles include Norina (Don Pasquale), Despina (Così fan Tutte), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Musetta (La Bohème), Mme. Herz (The Impresario), Gretel (Hansel & Gretel), Dafne (Handel's Apollo e Dafne); oratorio roles include Handel's Messiah, the Requiem's of Mozart, Fauré and Rutter (performed at Carnegie Hall), Mozart's Exultate Jubilate and Coronation Mass, and Mahler's Symphony #2 (Resurrection), which she performed at The National Arts Center in Ottawa.
Embracing musical styles from Bach to Berio and beyond, Amelia specializes in the works of living composers, performing premieres by Augusta Read Thomas, Missy Mazzoli, Manfred Trojahn, Michael Gordon, Corey Dargel, Greg Spears, Jason Cady and Peter Golub, in venues such as (Le) Poisson Rouge, Galapagos Art Space, PS122, The Kitchen, and the Skirball Center for Performing Arts. In January 2013, Amelia debuted the role of Mabrouka in the staged premiere of Mohammed Fairouz"s opera Sumeida"s Song, as part of the inaugural season of the Prototype Festival. Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times praised 'the soprano Amelia Watkins, who brings bright sound and touching vulnerability to her performance'.
A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Amelia is the recipient of multiple substantial grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation for Young Canadian Opera Singers, and a laureate of the Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques. She is the winner of the Deuxième Prix Lyrique Français at the Concours d'interpretation de Musique Française de Montréal, finalist in the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, and has been recognized in other regional, national and international competitions. Ms. Watkins has been a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Festival, a Young Artist at Berkshire Opera, a featured academy artist at the Verbier Festival, participant in the Cleveland Art Song Festival, the Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop with Thomas Quasthoff, and a resident performer with the Metropolitan Opera Guild outreach program.
Amelia can be heard in recording in "New Growth" (Albany Records), on the Grammy-nominated Bobby McFerrin recording "Vocabularies", in Missy Mazzoli's "Song From The Uproar" (New Amsterdam Records), and on various film and television commercial scores.