Yvonne Kenny is een Australische sopraan die probeert even sexy te zijn als Lesley Garrett. Er ontstond dan ook een groot incident toen ze beiden een CD uitbrachten met dezelfde titel. (Ik denk dat het over “A Christmas Gift” ging in 1999, wat een beetje belachelijk was, want ik denk dat er tientallen CD’s zijn met die titel. Enfin, ondertussen zijn ze allebei al te oud om nog over zulke pietluttigheden ruzie te maken.)
Born in Sydney, she first studied at the University of Sydney in science, hoping to become a biochemist, but decided to pursue a career in music instead. She studied first with Myra Lambert at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and later won a scholarship to study at the opera school at La Scala in Milan. After a year of studying there, she went to England, where after a few recitals and TV appearances, her breakthrough came on 11 October 1975, when she replaced, with only four days’ notice, the soprano scheduled to sing in an Opera Rara concert performance of Donizetti‘s Rosmonda d’Inghilterra at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. It was a triumph and the virtually unknown Kenny became an overnight star.
She made her debut at the Royal Opera House the following year, in the premiere of Hans Werner Henze‘s We Come to the River, later singing in Händel operas such as: Semele, Alcina (zie bovenstaande foto), Giulio Cesare, and such Mozart operas as: Idomeneo, Mitridate, re di Ponto, La clemenza di Tito, The Abduction from the Seraglio, The Magic Flute. She also sang Sophie in both Werther and Der Rosenkavalier. She was also a regular guest at the Glyndebourne Festival and the English National Opera. On the international scene, she appeared at opera houses in Zurich, Munich, Vienna, Aix-en-Provence, Washington, etc. She often returned home, appearing at the Sydney Opera House in roles including: Mélisande, Manon, Leila, Micaela, Fiordiligi, Pamina, Alcina and Cleopatra. Later she sang the roles of Richard Strauss. She performed the Olympic Hymn at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
In 2009, Kenny appeared as Blanche DuBois in the Australian premiere of Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire for Opera Australia. After her initial success with Opera Rara, she appeared in many recordings with them, notably: Donizetti’s Ugo, conte di Parigi and Emilia di Liverpool, Meyerbeer‘s Il crociato in Egitto, and Johann Simon Mayr‘s Medea in Corinto. She also provided the voice for the title role in the TV mini-series Melba, about Dame Nellie Melba. [Wikipedia]