A lyric coloratura soprano with a flair for contemporary music, a range of over three octaves, a Kiwi can-do attitude and a taste for a challenge, Joanne Roughton-Arnold began her vocal studies with Esther Salaman and Paul Hamburger while a postgraduate violinist at Trinity College of Music. She went on to become a prize-winning vocal student at Birmingham Conservatoire, and now studies with renowned operatic soprano Nelly Miricioiu and international vocal coach David Harper.
She is passionate about showcasing music from her native New Zealand to a wider audience. She secured funding from Creative New Zealand to commission Iris Dreaming, a one-woman chamber opera by Gillian Whitehead and Fleur Adcock. She gave the world premiere as part of the 2016 Grimeborn Festival, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. She will give the New Zealand premiere in early 2017 as part of the biennial Adam Chamber Music Festival.
In 2015 Joanne performed the virtuosic role of Semele at the Royal Opera House in a research and development workshop on Roberto David Rusconi’s new opera, Dionysos. Other operatic credits include Annina in La Traviata with the Chelsea Opera Group and Nelly Miricioiu (Queen Elizabeth Hall), La Zia in Madama Butterfly (Opera Holland Park Christine Collins Young Artist), Methodist Preacher in A Pastoral Messiah (Unexpected Opera), Sarah Whitehead in Malcolm Williamson’s English Eccentrics under Lionel Friend, Fiordiligi Così fan tutte (Birmingham Conservatoire), Eurydice Orpheus in the Underworld (Morley Opera), Norina Don Pasquale (Morley Opera), Gilda Rigoletto (Porthcawl Grand Pavillion), Marguerite Faust (Theatr Elli, Llanelli), Morgana Alcina (Theatr Elli, Llanelli).
She has appeared in concert at HM Treasury (Churchill Room), the Royal Academy of Music (London Master Classes), St George’s Hanover Square, and Handel House Museum; as soloist in Dallapiccola’s Commiato with the Thallein Ensemble under Edwin Roxburgh (Birmingham Conservatoire), Cecilia McDowall’s Magnificat (Teddington Choral Society), Bach’s Mass in B Minor (Bedford School Choral Society). As a recitalist she is endlessly fascinated by the marriage of text and music in song; she designs programmes that combine the familiar with the new, drawing on both standard and contemporary repertoire..