Narelle French is one of Australia’s most respected and versatile pianists, musicians and educators, specialising in vocal and operatic repertoire. She studied at the State Conservatorium of Music, NSW, and has been awarded the Dame Roma Mitchell Churchill Fellowship (2002) and the 2001 Centenary Medal (for Service to Australian Society and the Advancement of Music). Whilst at Opera Australia (1984-1999), undertaking a wide variety of roles, she worked with international and Australian soloists, conductors and directors including Dame Joan Sutherland, Richard Bonynge, Johannes Fritzsch, Patrick Nolan, Stuart Maunder and Baz Luhrmann.
Since joining Opera Queensland (OQ) in 1999 as Director of Young Artist Program (1999-2009), Head of Music (since 2001), Guest Chorus Master (2000-2008) and Chorus Director (since 2009), Narelle has acted as conductor, performer, arranger, librettist and translator, co-created and performed numerous touring productions and special events, and led chorus preparation for numerous main stage OQ productions, collaborating with Brisbane Festival, Queensland Music Festival and Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
Within OQ’s education and community programs, school residencies, chamber operas and community workshops, Narelle has collaborated with organisations including Queensland Theatre, Blue Roo Theatre Company and shake & stir theatre co. Through Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Narelle has been involved in training students through class workshop, teaching and accompaniment positions since 1999.