Hove soprano ‘honoured’ by MBE for services to opera

A British lyric soprano and creative empowerment mentor from Hove says she feels ‘very honoured’ to be awarded an MBE for services to opera.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 10:49 am
Nadine Benjamin. Photo: Devon Cass

Nadine Benjamin, 47, who specialises in Verdi, Strauss and contemporary American song, was an English National Opera Harewood Artist from 2018 to 2020.

She made her Royal Opera House debut in October 2020 as a soprano soloist in New Dark Age.

Nadine is also a mentor and founded her opera and mentorship programme ‘Everybody Can!’ in 2015 to provide a platform to encourage and support others.

She said: “I feel absolutely honoured to be chosen for this, it’s such a special thing.

“It’s really lovely to be recognised for my contributions, I feel blessed.”

Nadine appeared at the BBC Proms in 2019 and at the Women’s Festival in Greece and has given private recitals at the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome.

She has performed with the Chineke! Orchestra and gives free annual lunchtime recitals at St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden.

Nadine was highly commended at the Avia Women of the Future Awards 2016 and was Sky Arts Awards nominee for the Times Arts Award 2019, as well as the winner of Fulham Opera Robert Presley Verdi prize 2015.

She created the principal role of Imoinda in the UK premiere of The Crossing, an opera by the Cuban-American composer Odaline de la Martinez, at the London Festival of American Music.

In collaboration with pianist Nicole Panizza, she recorded ‘Emergence’, a selection of songs set to the poems of Emily Dickinson, which was released in 2019 and nominated in the vocal category at that year’s International

Classical Music Awards.

She said of her achievements: “I’m most proud of being in an art form of excellence, and having that persistence and perseverance, that driving power that you need behind it.

“And to be supported by my amazing mentors.

“Because I had them, it meant I had something to give back to the world afterwards.

“I firmly believe in mentorship and for me it’s been incredibly amazing to give back to other performers and artists.”

“I strongly believe that if you have a dream, anything is possible.”