Elizabeth Mandeno studied with Dennis O’Neill and Nuccia Focile at the Wales International Academy of Voice, where she earned an MA with Distinction in Advanced Vocal Technique. 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, Days Bay Opera, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Auckland Choral, Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and Opera Otago, as well as many other local and national musical groups.
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 Amina in La Sonnambula (Days Bay Opera), St Matthew Passion (Bach Musica NZ), 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).
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.
“The opera really took off with the arrival of Amina (Elizabeth Mandeno), and her first big aria, ‘Come per me sereno’ and the cabaletta ‘Sovra il sen la man’ rejoicing in her expected marriage to Elvino.”
“The last scene eventually brings an understanding of ‘sleep-walking’ and Amina’s singing at the end is plaintive and moving.” – La Sonnambula, reviewed by Lindis Taylor, Middle C, 12 February 2021
“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