Elizabeth Mandeno has an MA in Advanced Vocal Technique from the Wales International Academy of Voice, where she studied with Dennis O’Neill and Nuccia Focile. She previously studied at the University of Auckland, and has been both a Freemasons Opera Artist and a Freemasons Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with NZ Opera. Elizabeth has performed as a soloist alongside Dame Felicity Lott and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. She has also been a soloist with New Zealand Opera, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Auckland Choral, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Opera Otago, as well as many other local and national organisations and as part of the International Choral Festival in Beijing.
In 2019 she won the Lockwood New Zealand Aria, with the first prize sponsored by the Dame Malvina Major Foundation.
Notable opera and concert performances include Handel’s Messiah (Auckland Choral, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra), Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare (Handel Consort and Quire NZ), Haydn’s Creation (NZ Choral Federation), Bach B Minor Mass (Bach Musica NZ), Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem (Camerata/St Peter’s Cathedral Choir), Adele in Die Fledermaus (Opera Factory) and Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (University of Auckland).
A keen advocate of New Zealand music, she has created several operatic roles including Jane Kendall in Anthony Ritchie’s This Other Eden and the title role in Anthony Young’s award-winning short opera Ulla’s Odyssey, as well as premiering several concert works by both established and up-and-coming New Zealand composers, including Where Moons Circle and Burn by Louise Webster (Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra), Death of a Bullfighter by Jonathan Mandeno (Aventa Ensemble Canada).
Future engagements include the St Matthew Passion with Bach Musica, Dvorak’s Mass in D with Tauranga Civic Choir, and a cameo as the Bridesmaid in NZ Opera’s Le Nozze di Figaro.
Elizabeth is grateful to the following people and organisations for their support: Dame Malvina Major Foundation, New Zealand Opera Trust, New Zealand Aria Trust, Dennis O’Neill Foundation, Opera Factory Trust, Wallace Arts Trust, North Harbour Club AIMES Foundation, The New Zealand Opera School.
“Amongst the soloists, Elizabeth Mandeno displays the form that won her the Lockwood Aria Competition last month. The soprano exhorts the daughter of Zion to rejoice in an exultant whirl of 6/8, impresses with sensitively sculpted ornamentation and looks over her printed score to catch both our eyes and ears.” – Messiah, reviewed by William Dart, New Zealand Herald, 18 December 2019
“Duet Christe eleison with crystal-clear soprano Elizabeth Mandeno and lyric mezzo Catrin Johnsson was a delightful blend of supple violins, light continuo accents and the weaving of the two women’s voices.” – Bach B Minor Mass, reviewed by Clare Martin, Radio13, 7 April 2019
“Elizabeth Mandeno’s soaring, elegant soprano etched new paths in our memory banks.” – Ein Deutsches Requiem, reviewed by Sam Edwards, Waikato Times, 14 August 2018
“Elizabeth Mandeno possessed a magnetism that together with the bold, colourful scoring made for a riveting performance.” – Death of a Bullfighter, reviewed by Sarah Ballard, The Listener Online, 6 March 2015
“An impressive group of young singers inhabit their roles like a second skin while singing with power, passion and accuracy. Soprano Elizabeth Mandeno, an emerging artist with New Zealand Opera, is in very fine voice indeed as Jane Kendall, the lonely, dissatisfied missionary’s wife who finds comfort in another man’s arms. Her voice has a lovely intonation and soars effortlessly in arias, duets and ensembles.” – This Other Eden, reviewed by Brenda Harwood, Theatreview, 11 October 2014
“Galatea was sung and acted with winning, winsome purity by Elizabeth Mandeno. Her voice was ideal for the part, clear and true.” – Acis and Galatea, reviewed by Rod Biss, NZ Opera News, December 2012