Carolyn Dobbin

Carolyn Dobbin

Northern Irish mezzo-soprano and Samling Foundation Scholar, Carolyn Dobbin, trained on the Opera Theatre Company Young Artist Programme in Dublin and at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.

In opera, Carolyn Dobbin has worked with numerous companies including Dorset Opera, English National Opera, Grange Park Opera, English Touring Opera, Castleward Opera, Stadttheater Bern (Switzerland), Mid Wales Opera, Opera Della Luna, Opera Holland Park, Opera Theatre Company, The Opera Group, Raymond Gubbay Ltd and Welsh National Opera. Her repertoire includes Chloe / All That Money Can Buy, the title role in CarmenAlisa / Lucia di Lammermoor, Miss Catchall / Vera of Las Vegas, Bradamante / Alcina, Teodata / Flavio, Lisetta / Il mondo della luna, Dorabella / Così fan tutte, Zweite Dame /Die Zauberflöte, Idamante / Idomeneo, Nicklaus / Les contes d’Hoffmann, Dido and First Witch / Dido and Aeneas at the Barbican, Ottavia / L’incorazione di Poppea, Cherubino / Le nozze di Figaro, Irene / Theodora, Concepcion / L’heure espagnole, Orlofsky / Die Fledermaus, Meg Page / Falstaff, Maddalena / Rigoletto, and Flora Bervoix / La traviata.

In 2010/2011 , Carolyn Dobbin was a WNO Associate Artist and the recipient of the WNO Chris Ball Bursary and Sir John Moores Award. She sang the roles of Mercedes / Carmen and Zweite Dame / Die Zauberflöte, as well as covering the title role in Bizet’s Carmen and Maddalena / Rigoletto.

Other stage performances include Janet / The Doctor’s Tale for ROH2 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Scipio / Caligula and Hannah / The Passenger, both for English National Opera; Andronico / Tamerlano for Capella Cracoviensis; Meg Page / Falstaff for Opera Holland Park; Emilia / Otello for Dorset Opera; and Maddalena / Rigoletto for Grange Park Opera, Irene/ Theodora with the Hannover band.

In concert Carolyn Dobbin has performed Handel’s Messiah with the Philharmonia Orchestra; Mozart Requiem at London’s Royal Festival Hall and for RTVE Madrid; Beethoven 9th Symphony at the Barbican Hall, London; Classical Spectacular for Raymond Gubbay Ltd and Messiah, under the baton of Sir David Willcocks, both at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Further appearances include Janacek’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared at the Bath International Festival 2009 with Paul Nilon and Joanna MacGregor.

Carolyn Dobbin has collaborated in concert and opera performances with conductors including Richard Bonynge, Stephen Barlow, Nicholas Cleobury, Sir Richard Armstrong, Richard Egarr, Jane Glover, Paul Hillier, Ryan Wigglesworth, Simon Ible, Stephen Kovacevich, Sir Charles Mackerras, Takuo Yuasa Anthony Negas, Thomas Zehetmair, and appearances with the City of London Sinfonia, Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orquesta Sinfónica de Radio Televisión Española, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ten Tors Chamber Orchestra, Schola Cantorum Basiliensis And the Ulster Orchestra.

Carolyn Dobbin was a member of the Solo Ensemble of Luzerner Theater, Switzerland, (2012-2014) where her roles included Penelope / Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Annio / La clemenza di Tito (a co-production with the Lucerne Festival), Tisbe / La cenerentola, Lidwina / Fraulein Bixel und Herr Glück, Flora Bervoix / La traviata, Bradamante / Alcina, and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen.


During the period of her Swiss residency Carolyn Dobbin also débuted as Annina and Flora Bervoix / La Traviata at Stadttheater Bern.

Carolyn Dobbin’s radio broadcasts include Così fan tutte (Samling Foundation) and Glanert’s Caligula at ENO for BBC Radio 3. Additionally, Carolyn Dobbin’s discography includes recordings of Lynne Plowman’s Cries Like Silence with the London Mozart Players , conducted by Nicolae Moldoveanu, on Avie CD, and the Luzerner Theater Swiss-German Kinderoper Fraulein Bixel und Herr Glück. She has made appearances on BBC Ulster radio singing Handel arias and songs by northern Irish composers and with the Ulster Orchestra on BBC TVs St Patrick’s night concert.

In 2014 /15 Carolyn Dobbin returned to the UK where she has subsequently performed the role of Polina in Tchaikowsky’s Pique Dame for Grange Park Opera, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontiusin Portsmouth,

and Emilia in a concert version of Rossini’s Othello at the Buxton Festival. Carolyn Dobbin also performed the title role in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for the newly-established IYO, under the musical direction of Stephen Barlow, at the Wexford Opera House, Fatima in Weber’s Oberon and The Page in Strauss’ Salome for Northern Ireland Opera, The Verdi Requiem, Angelina in La cenerentola , Ditte Dame in the Magic flute in Switzerland, made her debut with Opera North in The Devils Juke-box, Proms Concert under the baton of Stuart Stratford and performed the role of Charlotte in Werther for ETO.

In 2016 Carolyn Dobbin performed Amastre in Xerxes, Penelope in Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria, Susuki in Madama Butterfly in Italy, and performed recitals ‘ A tribute to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson’ in London with Christopher Glynn.

In 2017 /18, Carolyn will perform Madam Popova in The Bear, Dritte Dame– in the Magic Flute, recorded the role of Madaleinin a CD of the rare opera,‘ Raymond and Agnes’ by Richard Loder conducted by Richard Bonynge and perform the role ofMother Bear in a dark version of ‘Goldilocks and the three bears’ by Vahan Salorian for the Opera Story.

She performed her first wagner role of Mary in Der fliegende Hollander for longborough Opera festival to critical acclaim, an opera Gala at Opera Holland Park for ‘swap’ra’ and cover roles in War and Peace for WNO. She also recorded the role of the Queen in Ethel Smyths opera Fete Galante with Odaline de la Martinez. In 2019 She performed the roles of Smeton in Donizetti Anna Bolena, sang concerts for WNO in Dubai, the roles of Fenena in Nabucco, Alise In Lucia di lammermoor and Mrs Peachum this autumn and The witch in Hansel and Gretel for Irish National Opera 2020. She took part in N ireland operas northern Song project and Irish national Opera 20 shots of opera in Message for Marty by Conor Mitchell. She will also take part in an opera based on ‘Harvey Weinsteins trials’ by Conor Mitchell, Handels Alexander’s feast with le Foyer des Artistes, the inaugural Ulster touring Operas tour, sing Cuniza in Verdi’s Opera Oberto in London in 2022 and perform Mary in Der Fliegende Höllander with Sir Bryn Terfel in 2022.  She will also be part of Wagner’s Ring Cycle at Longborough Opera Festival in 2021/23.  

Carolyn established the Northern Irish Song Project which has seen her collect and record songs by N Irish composers for many years. She has also had new song cycles written for her by contemporary N Irish composers and as a result of this project she has collaborated with Delphian Records and Iain Burnsideto produce and launch her first cd ‘ Calen-o’ at The Ludlow English Song Weekend and also for BBC radio 3 in castle Coole Enniskillen. She also exhibited her paintings of these composers and the scenes of where the songs are about alongside these recitals.


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