Anna Devin

Soprano

Biography

Irish soprano Anna Devin is widely admired for her “vocal control, artistry and musico-dramatic intelligence” (Opera News).  An alumna of the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artist programme, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the National Opera Studio, Ms Devin has gained recognition across the world for her work in the Baroque and Bel Canto repertoire.

In 2021-22, Anna Devin will make her debuts in Dijon singing Norina in Don Pasquale, and will perform the role of Elisabetta in Maria Stuarda with the Irish National Opera.

This last season, most of her engagements were cancelled due to the pandemic, but she did get to perform the role of Melissa in Amadigi with Garsington Opera. She also stepped in at the last minute to sing the title role in Handel’s Rodelinda with the Moscow Philharmonic.

In recent years, Anna Devin’s successes have included Almirena in Rinaldo with Glyndebourne on tour and Michal in Saul in Paris Théâtre du Châtelet; Celia in Lucio Silla in Madrid; the title role of Semele with the Händel-Festspiele; Tusnelda in Arminio at the International Handel Festival in Göttingen; Michal in Saul at Glyndebourne and Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare for the Early Opera Company, in which her Cleopatra was described as: ‘one of the finest London has heard’ (Opera Magazine). She has sung Galatea in Acis and Galatea for Mozartwoche Salzburg; Nannetta in Falstaff and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi for Covent Garden; Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro for Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne Tour and Scottish Opera; Sophie in Werther and Zerlina in Don Giovanni for Scottish Opera; la bergère Louis XV and la chauve-souris in L’enfant et les sortilèges for La Scala; Poppea in Agrippina for Opera Collective, Ireland; and Clotilde in Faramondo for Brisbane Baroque, which earned her the Best Supporting Singer in an Opera at the 2015 Helpmann Awards, Australia.

Other roles have included Governess in Turn of the Screw, la Comtesse Adèle in Le Comte Ory, Marie in La fille du Régiment, Morgana in Alcina, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel and Ilia in Idomeneo. 

A frequent concert performer throughout Europe and the USA, Ms Devin’s repertoire encompasses a vast range of sacred and secular works and she has appeared at the London Handel, Göttingen Handel, Lausanne Bach, Brighton Early Music and Belfast festivals, the BBC Proms and Carnegie Hall. She has worked with the Vienna Philharmonic, Hallé, RTÉ NSO, Ulster and Minnesota orchestras and Houston, Charlotte and Seattle symphonies, among others. Recent season highlights, Mozart Concert Arias with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Harry Bicket; and a concert tour performing Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater and Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate with frequent collaborator Marc Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre.  Other conductors she has worked with include Sir William Christie, Laurence Cummings, Christian Curnyn, Ottavio Dantone, Ivor Bolton, Sir Colin Davis, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Sir Antonio Pappano.

Anna Devin’s recordings include Arminio and Faramondo for Accent from the International Händel Festspiele Gottingen; Mozart in London, Il re Pastore and Mitridate, Re di Ponto with Classical Opera for Signum Classics; and ‘Arias for Benucci’ with Arcangelo for Hyperion. She was also an Associate Artist with Classical Opera, with whom she records and performs regularly.

In addition to her work on stage, Ms Devin is proud to be an Ambassador for the British Dyslexia Association. She has also been open with the public through the media and events about growing up with dyslexia, saying: “Being different is not a bad thing. Not fitting in with the crowd is a blessing as we all have our own journey, and being forced to find your own path brings originality.” She is passionate about nurturing new talent and gives masterclasses at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin, as well as coaching at the Royal Academy Opera Course, London.

When not on stage, Ms Devin is a keen runner and enjoys keeping fit and relaxing with her husband, young children and Norwegian Forest cat in their Bedfordshire, UK home.

Season 2021-22

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Recent News

“Rinaldo” at Glyndebourne with David Bates and Anna Devin

Conductor David Bates and soprano Anna Devin will perform in Robert Carsen’s exuberant production of Handel’s Rinaldo for Glyndebourne. Directing from the harpsichord, Rinaldo marks David Bates' conducting debut at Glyndebourne. Anna Devin, praised for her...

Reviews

“Anna Devin’s fascinating Cleopatra, one of the finest London has heard since Valerie Masterson at the Coliseum almost four decades ago…Devin dispatched ‘V’adoro pupille’ with instrumental clarity, beguiling tone and a properly seductive persona, yet had plenty of emotion in reserve for ‘Se pietà and ‘Piangerò la sorte mia’. As her recent Semele in Karlsruhe made clear, the Irish soprano is an ideal interpreter of Handel’s ‘sex-kitten’ roles – in Winton Dean’s apt phrase – and deserves to be seen in this part on stage.”

Hugh Canning

Opera Magazine

“The soloist who really maximised on the opportunity provided by this was Anna Devin as Cleopatra. Her soprano was full, rounded and sumptuous and she met the most soaring lines and difficult phrases with a sound that felt as smooth as it was accurate. In this way, her performance of ‘Se pietà di me non senti’ entirely captured the sense of one totally lost in her love for Cesare, and was so sensitive that it nearly reduced the audience to tears. However, her voice, while demonstrating the same underlying attributes, proved equally adept at revealing assertive defiance towards Tolomeo and a total sense of joy in ‘Da tempeste il legno infranto’”

Sam Smith

MusicOMH

More Reviews

“This year we were able to discover his extraordinary talent on the Badisches Staatstheater stage…there is the virtuoso interpretation of Anna Devin, beautiful in the art of the modulation of affects on the theme given by the phrase that is repeated. These exercises in style are fully successful both in terms of vocal technique and performance, Anna Devin , skilled in all registers and moods, manages to give the impression of naturalness and spontaneity to this which is actually the result of elaborate work.” (Translation)

Munich and Co 2 March 2018

“Anna Devin delivered Ilia’s arias (especially her gossamer-spun ‘Zeffiretti Lusinghieri’) with the sweet, vulnerable purity required. Far rarer was her ability to invest the recitatives with a surprising range of emotions, not excluding peevishness, irony and political tact. This was dramatic singing of the highest calibre.”

Christopher Webber, Opera Magazine

“Devin is one of those singers whose sheer fluency and ease of command can quite mask the extremity of some of the demands she masters in performance. Everything she sang on Friday was first class, and her negotiation of the precipitous heights in Ah se in ciel, benigne stelle, K538, will long remain specially etched in the memory.”

Michael Dervan, Irish Times February 7 2018

“a starry Cleopatra, the Irish soprano Anna Devin, who pulled off dazzling feats of virtuosity and spellbinding breath control in her two great laments.”

Hugh Canning, The Times August 20 2017

“Anna Devin’s Susanna is the stand-out performance. Bright of voice and quick of intellect, Devin owns Act I when Susanna is confronted with a succession of unwanted visitor’s to her future bed-chamber”

Thom Dibdin, thestage.co.uk 

“Suitably lighter and brisker, touching in ‘Deh vieni’…and an alert, watchable actress”

Stephen Walsh, The Arts Desk Feb 19th 2016

“The indisputable star of the show is Susanna, and Irish soprano Anna Devin executes a flawless performance. Her stompy, sassy portrayal of a feisty young bride, coupled with a crystal, spine-tingling voice, is truly a performance to behold. Her talent and vocal versatility is breathtaking, and she captivates the audience – drawing out laughter and moments of touching humility”

The Reviews Hub, Feb 19th 2016

“a veritable feisty knock out Susanna”

Mike Smith, Wales Online 

” The biggest plus factor…is the exceptional Susanna of Anna Devin: she has a natural charisma, her soprano blending clarity and bloom.”

Rhian Evans, The Guardian 

“Agrippina’s nemesis – is winningly portrayed by soprano Anna Devin, her richly expressive voice brilliant also in matching the vocal acrobatics demanded of her.”

MICHAEL LEE – Golden Plec 

“It was Anna Devin’s Nannetta who took one’s breath away. Nannetta’s every phrase drew one’s attention, as the floaty lines soared with power and lyricism…Such vocal control suggests real artistry and musico-dramatic intelligence….Devin provided mesmeric musical compensation in ‘Sul fil d’un soffio etesio’, calling the fairies from their hiding place and commanding them to dance.”

Claire Seymour (Opera Today) 

“Anna Devin as an especially determined Nannetta Ford, is superlative, floating every line with vivid sense of bel canto style and rising to the highest artistry in the Queen of the Fairies’ seriously beautiful song.”

David Nice (theartsdesk.com) 

“Anna Devin’s Nannetta — silvery-sweet and impeccably sung — is the stand-out in a strong revival cast. “

Alexandra Coghlan (the spectator) 

“Indeed, in this concert presentation it would be hard to be gloomy about anything sung by Cummings’s Semele, Anna Devin. With a voice as liquid and sparkling as the best champagne, this rising young Irish soprano showered us with vivid characterisations, kaleidoscopic hues and the brightest of coloratura flourishes. “

Geoff Brown, The Times 

“Anna Devin was both poised and alluring as Faramondo’s sister Clotilde, demonstrating sustained vocal vigour accompanied by a bright tone and lightly gravelly appeal where every breath drawn added further characterful beauty.”

Opera Chaser 

“Scintillating Irish soprano Anna Devin was Clotilde, Faramondo’s sister. Her articulation and seamless style was truly beautiful, overwhelming at times with her intensity and intelligence at managing some of the most difficult passages with such eloquence.”

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle 

“Anna Devin was ravishing as Semele. Slightly knowing without ever lapsing into caricature, she combined strong technique with a lovely sense of character, so that this Semele was real. From the first notes of Endless Pleasure we were able to admire the evenness of her passage-work and the beauty and richness of her tone. She has a surprisingly luscious timbre, and is clearly much more than the soubrette that Semele can be portrayed as. In Myself I Shall Adore the sentiments were entirely understandable.”

Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill 

“Devin shone like the star she is surely destined to become, for she not only has a distinctive, lovely and virtuoso voice, she is also a winning and captivating actress”

Classical Music Source 

“The other principals […] each had moments to shine […] Devin in “Barbara!” [was an] outstanding moment among many highlights”

What’s on Stage 

“Anna Devin is an outstanding Clotilde, her singing of ‘Combattura da due venti’ particularly delicious”

Catriona Graham, Opera Critic 

“Anna Devin, a soprano who shines in some sizzling arias.”

George Loomis, Financial Times 

“Indeed, in this concert presentation it would be hard to be gloomy about anything sung by Cummings’s Semele, Anna Devin. With a voice as liquid and sparkling as the best champagne, this rising young Irish soprano showered us with vivid characterisations, kaleidoscopic hues and the brightest of coloratura flourishes…”

Geoff Brown, The Times 

“In the role of Clotilde, whether as an object of desire, as a love interest or as a brave sister, the Irish soprano Anna Devin, winner of the Audience Prize in the London Handel Singing Competition, is excellent in voice and life. Brilliant and elegant, she succeeds in the shipwreck aria in the second act, rewarded through economies of scale and coloratura cascades.”

Evi Baumeister, TLZ 

“Anna Devin is visually perfect as Clotilde and convinces with great coloratura and dramatic outbursts.”

Online Musik Magazin 

“Anna Devin was excellent as ‘A’, managing to convey the character’s conflicting desires to maintain independence and stability and to give in to the seductive promises and believe the lies of ‘R’.”

Hugo Shirley, Opera 

“Anna Devin sings with compelling beauty as the woman known only as A.”

Richard Fairman, Financial Times 

“Anna Devin gives a fantastic performance as A, with an even tone throughout the voice, and a particularly impressive, ringing upper register. Her acting is convincing too, effectively conveying the psychological state of her character in each scene.”

Levi White, Bachtrack 

“The three singers are perfect for their roles: clearly much thought went into casting. Anna Devin is absolutely convincing as the manipulated young woman at the heart of the drama. To bring this off takes real acting skill, and Devin is superb in projecting her character’s fragile vulnerability. She rises to each and every of Bedford’s musical challenges; we feel her excitement, and her anguish.”

Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International 

“Pack tissues if you’re going [to Garsington Opera’s production of Hänsel und Gretel], for an Evening Prayer more exquisite than that sung by Anna Devin (Gretel) and Claudia Huckle (Hänsel) is hard to imagine.”

Anna Picard, The Independent 

“The vocal ingredients here are particularly good. In the title roles of the two starving children who discover danger and resilience in the depths of the dark forest, Anna Devin and Claudia Huckle, are note-perfect and a near ideal match: Devin’s sharpwitted Gretel complements Huckle’s convincingly boyish Hansel, whose elegant contralto sets off the charm of her stage-sister’s pristine soprano.”

George Hall, The Guardian 

“Anna Devin and Claudia Huckle both put in outstanding performances as the leading pair. From their perfectly believable childish dancing in the first scene to their sincere terror when figures in creepy animal masks prowl at night, they capture the sense of helplessness that face two babes lost in the woods. Devin’s Gretel was beautifully sung, with a control that always hinted she was singing nowhere near the limits of her vocal power. She treated us to a wonderfully tender moment in Act III’s “Wo bin ich?” when she awakes after a night in the woods.”

Kate Mason, Bachtrack 

“Irish soprano Anna Devin’s giggly, delightfully inelegant Silvia steals the show – a zesty, youthful foil for Constanza’s world-weari/wariness. Her hopelessly naive reactions to seeing a man for the first time since infancy and falling in love with Enrico – all delivered in light, flexible voice – are the most captivating moments of the production.”

Melissa Lesnie, Limelight Australia 

“Singing honours go to Anna Devin. Her Sophie was a delight. Trilling her way up and down a large vocal range, she was coquettish and quite delicious.”

Kevin Holdsworth, Opera Britannia 

“A fine cast included Anna Devin’s sweet-voiced Sophie”

Sarah Urwin Jones, The Times 

“As Charlotte’s younger sister Sophie, Irish soprano Anna Devin blends charm with vulnerability and sings immaculately.”

George Hall, The Stage 

“Anna Devin— serving out her apprenticeship on the Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and good to hear in a substantial role—was a delightful and impeccably-sung Susanna.”

Hugo Shirley, Opera 

“Among a particularly fine quartet of soloists, soprano Anna Devin — a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House — shone with some bright and resonant singing that soared gracefully and effortlessly.”

Oxford Times 

“It was meltingly sung, too, by the ravishingly blended voices of Anna Devin, a bright and beautiful light lyric soprano who has made such an impression this season in main house productions of Hänsel und Gretel (as the Dew Fairy) and Die Zauberflöte (as Papagena)”

What’s on Stage

“(Puccini’s Il Trittico) Among the supporting cast, Anna Devin is outstanding as Sister Genovieffa.”

The Independent“her “nieces”, the lively duo of Rebecca Bottone and Jette Parker young artist Anna Devin, conveyed both their individuality and their numbing, circumscribed ordinariness.”

Peter Grimes, The Guardian“Anna Devin’s irresistible Papagena made just the right foil for him, and confirmed her as the most exciting soubrette in the business.”

 

The Independent

“The Irish soprano Anna Devin inhabited Silvia’s world of childish innocence with mush artless attitudinizing and tossing around of her toy animal; her happy expectations for the future, carolled in a clear, light soprano.”

Opera Magazine

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