Dimity Shepherd is a graduate of the WESTERN AUSTRALIAN ACADEMY OF PERFORMING ARTS.
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.
He subsequent appearances for OPERA AUSTRALIA have included Cherubino in THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO and the rôle of Rebecca in the premiere seasons, in the MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL and the SYDNEY FESTIVAL, of Paul Grabowsky’s LOVE IN THE AGE OF THERAPY.
She has been regularly engaged by VICTORIAN OPERA, making her debut for the company as Orphee in Gluck’s ORPHEE & EURYDICE 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… and subsequently appearing for the company in the lead role of Alice in THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, and as Arsamene in Handel’s XERXES, 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.
Her very regular engagements, by VICTORIAN OPERA since, have included the role of Nireno in Handel’s JULIUS CAESAR and Lucy in the company’s seasons of THE THREEPENNY OPERA in Melbourne and Sydney, 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), 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, the Second Secretary in NIXON IN CHINA and three principal roles in Sondheim’s SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, The Begger Woman in SWEENEY TODD and the company’s premiere production of BANQUET OF SECRETS, Flora in LA TRAVIATA and roles in the premiere season of THE RIDERS, the Forester’s Wife and the Owl in THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN and The Nursemaid in Ernst Toch’s THE PRINCESS & THE PEA.
Of her HELPMANN AWARD nominated performances for the company as Kathchen in THE BLACK RIDER the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD wrote …extraordinary., and SIMON PARRIS: MAN IN A CHAIR said, Shepherd’s stylised portrayal is at the heart of the humanity of the piece and her vocals are exquisite… a gorgeous vocal delight.
And of her most recent performances for VICTORIAN OPERA, during 2018, in the premiere season of LORELEI, for which she received a GREENROOM AWARD nomination, THE AGE said, as a siren, as a singer, as a woman … Shepherd most accomplished.
Her roles for OPERA QUEENSLAND include Maddalena in RIGOLETTO Stephano in ROMEO & JULIET and Tisbe in LA CENERENTOLA, performances of which BRISBANE NEWS said, …as the…certainly not ugly stepsisters…also the most impressive singer and performer…
Dimity Shepherd created the title rôle in Jonathan Mill’s THE GHOST WIFE in the world premiere seasons at the Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney festivals and at London’s BITE02 festival at the BARBICAN CENTRE, performances of which the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD said, Dimity Shepherd in the title rôle, was evocative, illusory, extraordinary, while 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., and THE GUARDIAN wrote, Shepherd is absolutely compelling…the musical and dramatic core of the piece…
For leading Melbourne new-music company, CHAMBER MADE OPERA her engagements have included creating the lead role in CROSSING LIVE and the role of Elizabeth in THE CHILDREN’S BACH.
Her roles for MELBOURNE OPERA include Carmen, the THE AUSTRALIAN writing of her performances, Shepherd’s realisation was recklessly compelling… She was in splendid voice confirming herself as one of our finest singing actresses., the role of Smeaton in ANNA BOLENA 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 and Emilia in Rossini’s OTELLO, in 2019, for which she received a GREENROOM AWARD.
Other operatic engagements have included a return to the Second Secretary in the AUCKLAND FESTIVAL‘s production of NIXON IN CHINA, and Anne in TO HELL & BACK for GERTRUDE OPERA.
Her concert appearances include Sculthorpe’s STRING QUARTET NO.13 ISLAND DREAMING in the 2002 SYDNEY FESTIVAL, Vaughan Williams’ SERENADE TO MUSIC as part of the opening events of the MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE, MESSIAH for the ROYAL MELBOURNE PHILHARMONIC SOCIETY and 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., and Charles Gaines’ SOUND TEXT for the MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL and a solo recital in the program of the 2019 PORT FAIRY SPRING MUSIC FESTIVAL.
Of her work as soloist in Goliyov’s AYRE, in the program of the 2012 FREMANTLE ARTS FESTIVAL, 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.
Her appearances during 2020 included the role of Pearl in SUMMER OF THE SEVENTEENTH DOLL for STATE OPERA OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA and had originally included a return to the role of Carmen in OPERA AUSTRALIA‘s national touring production and appearances as the vocal soloist in the Melbourne season of the AUSTRALIAN BALLET‘s production of ANNA KARENINA.
2020 also included the world premiere of Katy Abbott’s HIDDEN THOUGHTS II: RETURN TO SENDER with the FLINDERS QUARTET, streamed live by MELBOURNE DIGITAL CONCERT HALL with CLASSIC MELBOURNE writing of her performance, Dimity Shepherd’s entrance heralded the beginning of a fearless bravura performance of sung and spoken material. She possesses a vocal production encompassing an extraordinary range of colour; from pure top notes to earthy lower chest notes and even instrumental timbres that included a nasal evocative of reed instruments from the Middle East, her voice embodied the emotional resonance of the text. She assumed the vocal timbre of the letter writer – from young and unsophisticated to mature elderly.
Her engagements during 2021 see her return to LORELEI for seasons in Melbourne and Brisbane and perform the role of Nettie Fowler in CAROUSEL for STATE OPERA OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA, sing the title role of OPERA AUSTRALIA‘s now rescheduled national touring production of CARMEN and appear as The Queen and The Cat in VICTORIAN OPERA‘s season of Respighi’s SLEEPING BEAUTY.
© Weaver Artist Management 2021
Antonio e Cleopatra – Hasse