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Photo: Calvin Peter Photography

Ella Smith

Voice Type:



British, New Zealander



Languages (fluent):

English, German

"Thanks to Frances Moore’s radical staging, Purcell and Nahum Tate’s tune-filled tale of ill-fated love and wicked witchery made for inspired musical theatre…a cast of four singers brought their characters to life with touching detail and observation…Ella Smith completed the female trio with style." - William Dart, NZ Herald (2015)

"Later another most effective Donizetti aria appeared: ‘Chacun le sait’ from La fille du regiment…Ella Smith, as Marie, the offspring of the regiment, in loose, orange, quasi-military trousers sings and gestures in vivid military style, it was another real high-point of the evening." - Lindis Taylor, Middle C (2013)

"Soprano Ella Smith’s Chacun le sait, from Donizetti’s Daughter of the Regiment, was an infectious, fun rendition…the audience loved her swooping on to those top notes and ever staying the mischievous young girl." - Lin Ferguson, Wanganui Chronicle (2013)

"Her ‘Mein Herr Marquis’ was a pure delight, so very enjoyable in the context of the story.” - Penny Dodd, NZ Theatre Review (2012)

British-born classical soprano Ella Marshall Smith is a fine recitalist and an intuitive performer with a comprehensive background in both choral and solo singing. She is a recipient of the 2013 Dame Malvina Arts Excellence Award. Ella is currently based in Berlin.

Ella has been a member of the NZ Opera Chapman Tripp Opera Chorus for several years. Her previous engagements with the company were Tosca, La Traviata, Madame Butterfly, The Flying Dutchman, and concert performances of Turandot, and The Rake’s Progress by Stravinsky.

As a soloist, Ella’s opera engagements include the role of 2nd Woman in a radical re-staging of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Unstuck Opera in February of last year. She has also featured regularly with Opera Factory, notably as Adele in Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss). She has sung in masterclasses with Dennis O’Neill and Nicholas Isherwood.

In the early music field, Ella has worked with the Age of Discovery ensemble, an organisation dedicated to period instrument performance of pre-19th Century music in New Zealand. The ensemble is directed by early music specialist James Tibbles. Her most recent engagement with the ensemble was a performance of Couperin’s Troisième Leçon de Ténèbres à 2 voix for 2 high voices and continuo.

In 2014, she completed her Bachelor of Music with Honours in Classical Vocal Performance at the University of Auckland, under the tutelage of Dr. Morag Atchison.

Between 2011 and 2013, Ella was a member of the New Zealand Youth Choir. In November 2013 the choir toured to the USA and Canada. Highlights of the tour included a large scale performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Britten’s birth.

Ella was a member of the Voices New Zealand Chamber Choir from 2015-2016. Her most recent performance with the ensemble was a commissioned concert for women’s choir in Christchurch. She was also involved in a performance of Michael Tippett’s Child of Our Time oratorio, as part of the Auckland Arts Festival. Ella is a past member of the Auckland Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. Karen Grylls. In 2012, the choir was joined by the Auckland Philharmonic in a performance of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor, conducted by Stephen Layton. Other performances include J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion conducted by Roy Goodman, and ‘PRISM’, a concert tribute to Estonian composer Arvo Pärt for which they received rave reviews.

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