"One of the most remarkable things about singing opera is becoming someone else on stage, whoever the character, and going through all the extremes of human emotion in one performance – especially when the outlet is some of the most incredible music ever written. The whole process is exhausting but addictive."

Lyric Soprano, Madeleine Pierard is a Jette Parker Young Artist with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

She began her musical life as a pianist in Napier, and later as a member of The New Zealand Youth Choir, The Tudor Consort and Voices New Zealand. After completing studies at Victoria University of Wellington (reading Musicology, Composition and Biomedical Science), she completed her MMus at the Benjamin Britten Opera School at the Royal College of Music in London, studying under Lillian Watson.

Madeleine has won many awards during her residency, most notably the Lies Askonas Prize, the Great Elm Award at the Wigmore Hall, The Les Azuriales Ozone Opera Competition in Cap-Ferrat, France and the Singer's Award at the Royal Overseas League Competition. Madeleine is a winner of the 2005 Lexus Song Quest and in 2008 as a recipient of an Arts Foundation New Generation Award.  This award celebrates young artists who have assured potential.  Their work is exciting.  They are independent, individual and show outstanding promise.  They also display a depth of thinking and consistency that gives their work strength. Madeleine's award was made possible with support from Freemasons New Zealand.

Recent roles have received glowing reviews around London: (as Meleagro - Atalanta in the London Handel Festival) ‘her voice rippling though the intricate settings with suppleness and purity of tone' (Classical Source) and in 2008, Madeleine was named as ‘What's Hot' by the international Opera Now Magazine. Past roles at the RCM include Helena (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Cherubino, Prince Charmant (Cendrillon) and Thaïs.

Professionally, Madeleine's roles have included Justice (The First Commandment) with the Classical Opera Company, Das erste Blumenmädchen (Parsifal), Marzelline (Fidelio) with the Auckland Philharmonia and NBR New Zealand Opera and Musetta (La Boheme) with Longborough Festival Opera. With The Royal Opera, Madeleine debuted with Sandman (Hänsel und Gretel) and later this season (2011) sings High Priestess (Aida) and Noémie (Cendrillon). She also understudied Leila (The Pearl Fishers) and will understudy Marfa (The Tsar's Bride).

Madeleine has performed extensively on the concert platform throughout New Zealand and the United Kingdom: Notable oratorio performances include Carmina Burana, Mozart Requiem and Haydn Nelson Mass as St Martin-in-the-Fields under Ivor Setterfield, Verdi's Requiem with the Cleveland Philharmonic, Haydn's Creation in the King's LynnFestival and Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem and Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man at The Royal Festival Hall.

Madeleine has also debuted in recital at the Wigmore and Cadogan Halls, appeared with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Jonathan Lemalu in recitals in Jersey and London, in a sell-out recital series in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Simon Lepper and as soloist on tour with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in China. Recent New Zealand performances include Sir Paul McCartney's Ecce Cor Meum with the Vector Wellington Orchestra and Orpheus Choir, Handel's Messiah with the Tudor Consort and VWO and as soloist on tour with the NZSO National Youth Orchestra under Jacques Lacombe.

Madeleine was also a 2009/10 Samling Scholar and was a 2009/10 trainee at the National Opera Studio in London, where she was generously sponsored by The Royal Opera.

Along with opera, Madeleine has a particular interest in performing contemporary works, premiering Symphony No. 2 by New Zealand composer, Ross Harris with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in 2006. Madeleine has also completed two recordings with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra under James Judd, featuring works by Lyell Cresswell and Beethoven works for soprano and orchestra for the Naxos Label.


Madeleine Pierard discusses her decision to choose opera as a career at the 2008 Arts Foundation New Generation Award, presented by Freemasons New Zealand.


Three Arts Foundation award recipients, singer Madeleine Pierard; children's book illustrator and writer Gavin Bishop and playwright and actor Jacob Rajan discuss why they create work with Paul Bushnell and Awa Press writer Jane Bowron
Madeleine Pierard with Eva Radich - from Upbeat, Radio NZ Concert on Tuesday 31 July 2012
Born Napier, New Zealand
Awarded ATCL, pianoforte, Exhibition Award
BMus (Cmpo), Victoria University, Wellington
Lexus Song Quest winner;BMus Hons (Perf/1st Class), Victoria University, Wellington
Vocal tuition, London
Winner, Great Elm Vocal Award, Wigmore Hall, London
Solo appearance for H.M. Queen Elizabeth II andDuke of Edinburgh, Westminster Abbey;Winner, Les Azuriales Opera competition, France;Arts Foundation of New Zealand New Generation Award;Soloist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, China;Named as ‘What's Hot' by Opera Now Magazine
MMus and Artists Diploma at BBIOS, Royal College of Music, London;Winner, ROSL Singer's Competition, London;Winner, Lies Askonas Prize, Royal College of music, London;
Trainee at the National Opera Studio in London