She made her professional operatic debut for OPERA AUSTRALIA in 1998 singing the role of Rosina in the company’s OZ OPERA production of THE BARBER OF SEVILLE, performances of which OPERA~OPERA wrote, …as wondrously delicious a Rosina as I ever hope to encounter.
Since then Dimity Shepherd has gone on to establish herself as a highly acclaimed performer of operatic repertoire of all periods from the baroque through to contemporary works.
She created the title rôle in the world premiere season of Jonathan Mill’s THE GHOST WIFE for the 1999 MELBOURNE FESTIVAL of which the HERALD-SUN said, This was Shepherd’s night., performances she repeated at the 2000 ADELAIDE FESTIVAL and at the SYDNEY FESTIVAL during 2001 of which the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD said, Dimity Shepherd in the title rôle, was evocative, illusory, extraordinary.
During 2001 Dimity Shepherd was engaged by the JUNG ST. POLTEN OPER in Vienna to sing Ruggiero in Handel’s ALCINA and appeared in OPERA AUSTRALIA’s OZ OPERA production of David Hobson’s REMEMBERING ROSIE recorded by the ABC.
In 2002 she sang the rôle of Tisbe in CENERENTOLA for OPERA QUEENSLAND, performances of which BRISBANE NEWS said, …as the…certainly not ugly stepsisters…also the most impressive singer and performer…
The same year she returned to the title rôle of THE GHOSTWIFE for its season at the BARBICAN in London’s BITE02 festival. Of these performances THE TIMES said, Dimity Shepherd is brilliant in the role. She creates a heartbreaking, yet flawed figure and her vocal insensity underlines the music’s strange lyricism., while THE GUARDIAN wrote, Shepherd is absolutely compelling…the musical and dramatic core of the piece…, and OPERA MAGAZINE wrote, Shepherd gives a remarkable performance.
She appeared in the rôle of Rebecca in OPERA AUSTRALIA’s world premiere seasons, in the 2002 MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL and the 2003 SYDNEY FESTIVAL, of Paul Grabowsky’s LOVE IN THE AGE OF THERAPY and, during 2004 appeared as Cherubino in OPERA AUSTRALIA’s Sydney season of THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO.
2006 included the rôle of Carmen for OZ OPERA, performances of which the SYDNEY DAILY TELEGRAPH wrote, If Carmen is not right, forget it. Dimity Shepherd does a superb job. She is sexy, seductive and dangerously unpredictable. She was also engaged to sing the role of Stephano in ROMEO & JULIET for OPERA QUEENSLAND and during 2007 she made her debut as Orphee in Gluck’s ORPHEE & EURYDICE for VICTORIAN OPERA of which the HERALD SUN said, Dimity Shepherd cuts a virile figure… its a marathon part… a bravura performance of sustained power, almost unfaltering control and convincing bereftness… She was also engaged to sing the lead role in CROSSING LIVE for CHAMBER MADE OPERA.
2008 and 2009 included gala opera concerts in both years for the WEST AUSTRALIAN OPERA. the role of Elizabeth in THE CHILDREN’S BACH for CHAMBER MADE OPERA and the lead role of Alice in VICTORIAN OPERA‘s season of THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS and the role of Arsamene in Handel’s XERXES for VICTORIAN OPERA, performances of which THE SUNDAY HERALD SUN reviewer said (one of ) the two stars of the night was Dimity Shepherd who, as Arsamene, delivers with passion and refinement., and AUSTRALIAN STAGE ONLINE said, Dimity Shepherd brought the house down…she delivered an extremely strong trouser role. Her histrionics, rich mezzo tone and musical reflection achieved great sincerity of sentiment.
2010 included the role of Nireno in VICTORIAN OPERA‘s season of Handel’s JULIUS CAESAR and Lucy in that same company’s production of Kurt Weill’s THE THREEPENNY OPERA a role she returned to in the subsequent CUB MALTHOUSE/SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY season during 2011
2011 also included Carmen for MELBOURNE OPERA, performances of which Peter Burch, writing in THE AUSTRALIAN said, Shepherd’s realisation was recklessly compelling… She was in splendid voice confirming herself as one of our finest singing actresses., the role of Mercurius in JS Bach’s DER STREIT ZWISCHEN PHEOBUS UND PAN and Jazz in the premiere production of HOW TO KILL YOUR HUSBAND (AND OTHER HANDY HOUSEHOLD HINTS) both for VICTORIAN OPERA.
Operatic engagements during 2012 included, for VICTORIAN OPERA, the lead role of Clara Johnson in the world premiere production of MIDNIGHT SON and Cherubino in THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO for which she was awarded a 2013 GREEN ROOM AWARD.
Also in 2013 she returned to the CITY OF STONNINGTON‘s OPERA IN THE PARK for the third consecutive year and for VICTORIAN OPERA she appeared as the Second Secretary in NIXON IN CHINA and in three principal roles in Sondheim’s SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE.
Dimity Shepherd is also an experienced concert singer having been engaged as soloist for such works as the Haydn NELSON MASS with the NATIONAL BOYS’ CHOIR in the MELBOURNE CONCERT HALL, she has been a regular guest for OPERA-UNDER-THE-STARS in Broome and was soloist in Peter Sculthorpe’s STRING QUARTET NO.13 ISLAND DREAMING in the 2002 SYDNEY FESTIVAL. During 2009 she appeared in Vaughan Williams’ SERENADE TO MUSIC as part of the opening events of the MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE and in 2010 she was soloist in Handel’s MESSIAH for the MELBOURNE SYMPHONY, of which THE AUSTRALIAN wrote, In terms of generating empathy, Dimity Shepherd’s account of He Was Despised was the finest I have seen. Most recently she has appeared as soloist in Goliyov’s AYRE in the program of the 2012 FREMANTLE ARTS FESTIVAL of which THE AUSTRALIAN wrote, In an evening of fine performances, Dimity Shepherd stole the show with her transfixing account… Shepherd inhabited these songs with total conviction, capturing the vast breadth of their emotional range.
Engagements during 2014 include Maddalena in RIGOLETTO for OPERA QUEENSLAND. She has sung the role of Flora in LA TRAVIATA and appears in the premiere season of THE RIDERS, both for VICTORIAN OPERA.
She appeared as The Begger Woman in VICTORIAN OPERA‘ s season of SWEENEY TODD during 2015 and returned to appear in the company’s premiere production of BANQUET OF SECRETS during 2016.
Other appearances during 2016 included a return to the role of the Second Secretary in the AUCKLAND FESTIVAL‘s production of NIXON IN CHINA, the role of Anne in GERTRUDE OPERA‘s production of Jake Heggie’s TO HELL & BACK, for the NAGAMBIE LAKES OPERA FESTIVAL, Smeaton in ANNA BOLENA for MELBOURNE OPERA a performance of which SIMON PARRIS: MAN IN A CHAIR reviewing said, Elevating the stature of this role with her highly committed performance, talented singing actress Shepherd once again shows why she is one of Melbourne’s most valued stage performers.
Other engagements during 2016 included, on just a week’s notice, the alto solo role in Handel’s JUDAS MACCABEAUS for HEIDELBERG CHORAL SOCIETY.
During 2017, for VICTORIAN OPERA, she performed the roles of the Forester’s Wife and the Owl in THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN and The Nursemaid in Ernst Toch’s THE PRINCESS & THE PEA. She also appeared as Kathchen in THE BLACK RIDER for THE MALTHOUSE, the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD describing her performance as …extraordinary., and SIMON PARRIS: MAN IN A CHAIR saying, Shepherd’s stylised portrayal is at the heart of the humanity of the piece and her vocals are exquisite… a gorgeous vocal delight.
Also during 2017 she was engaged to stand-in for Russian mezzo soprano, Elena Maximova’s rehearsals of CARMEN with the TASMANIAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA and returned to the HEIDELBERG CHORAL SOCIETY for three performances of MESSIAH and for its concerts of Rossini’s STABAT MATER and Mendelssohn’s DIE ERSTE WALPURGISNACHT. She appeared in Charles Gaines’ SOUND TEXT for the MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL.
Her engagements during 2018 will include the premiere season of VICTORIAN OPERA‘s LORELEI and the role of Suzuki in the CITY OF STONNINGTON‘s CLASSICS:OPERA series performance of MADAM BUTTERFLY.
© Weaver Artist Management 2018
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