Elizabeth Mandeno is a former Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with NZ Opera. She 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. 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, 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, North Harbour Club AIMES Foundation, The New Zealand Opera School.
“Elizabeth Mandeno’s soprano was a delight. Her voice is rich and soulful and in the higher ranges there appears to be no limit.” – Bach Magnificat, Bach Musica NZ; reviewed by Rainer Buhmann, 11 December 2022
“Elizabeth Mandeno was another bright star of the evening, as she delighted with her clean and assured soprano. In the well-known “Ich will dir mein Herze schenken” Miss Mandeno demonstrated remarkable tonal beauty and agility. Her collaboration with Flute and Oboe in “Er hat uns allen wohlgetan” and “Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben” was one of the evening’s highlights. Quite apart from being successfully involved in NZ Opera, Miss Mandeno could clearly present herself as one of New Zealand’s finest baroque specialists.” – St Matthew Passion, Bach Musica NZ; reviewed by Rainer Buhmann, 11 April 2021
“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, Days Bay Opera; 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, Auckland Choral; 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, Bach Musica NZ; reviewed by Clare Martin, Radio13, 7 April 2019
“Elizabeth Mandeno’s soaring, elegant soprano etched new paths in our memory banks.” – Ein Deutsches Requiem, Camerata; 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, University of Auckland; 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, Opera Otago; reviewed by Brenda Harwood, Theatreview, 11 October 2014