Donna Balson is one of Australia’s most experienced opera coaches. She returned to her native Sydney in 2018, after more than 25 years living in Germany and the US, to take up the position as Manager of Opera Australia’s Young Artist Program.
As a coach, she has prepared singers for performances at Opera Australia, Oper Frankfurt, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, La Scala, the Wiener Staatsoper and the Metropolitan Opera, and for successful auditions for the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and the Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera. She was senior adjunct professor of voice and diction at Hofstra University in New York from 2005-2018.
As a singer, Donna’s operatic engagements have included work with companies in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart, and with Opera Australia, Opera Queensland and Canterbury Opera. In concert, she has performed at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Centre, and with orchestras and ensembles including the Prague Symphony, China National Symphony, Residentie Orchestra Den Haag, Junge Deutsche Philharmonie, Symphony of the Americas, Ensemble Moderne and the Seymour Group. Her concert repertoire ranges from Bach and Mozart to Nono, and includes multiple performances of the Verdi Requiem. Highlights of her operatic repertoire include the roles of Leonora in La Forza del Destino, Margherita in Boito’s Mefistofele, Violetta in La Traviata and the title role in Tosca. She was a core member of the American Chamber Ensemble in New York and has performed both as a singer and collaborative pianist in recitals across the United States.