Position: Adjunct Associate Professor, Voice
Employed Since: Fall 2023
G.Mus., Huddersfield University; P.D.V.T., Guildhall School of Music & Drama
British native Diane Atherton has garnered attention for her “silvery and winsome” performance (Washington Post). Her “rich and ringing tone” and “magical singing” truly position her as one of the most exciting sopranos in this region. In addition to singing in the prestigious Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Chicago’s Symphony Center, Atherton has sung in every major concert hall in the British Isles, The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and has toured extensively throughout Europe, recorded for TV and radio, as well as many of the major record labels including EMI and Naxos. Her vocal dexterity and flexibility illustrated by the wide variety of repertoire she has sung.
On the concert platform in Europe, Atherton was the guest soprano in the “J Strauss Gala” promoted by Raymond Gubbay where she sang 31 concerts in a month starting in London’s prestigious Royal Festival Hall. Atherton has also sung Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” and Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta conducted by Tamás Vásáry; numerous performances of Handel’s “Messiah” with the Scholars Baroque Ensemble which was recorded for HTV in Wales and toured in Spain; Purcell’s “Fairie Queen” recorded for Naxos and toured throughout Spain in the Canary Islands Festival; Handel’s “Samson;” Vaughan-Williams’s “Serenade to Music,” as well as a variety of Bach Cantatas (including “The Koffee Cantata,” “Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen”), plus “St. John Passion,” “St. Mathew Passion,” “Magnificat,” concerts of various Masses by Haydn (“The Creation,” “The Seasons,” “Nelson Mass,” “Paukenmesse”) Mozart (“Requiem,” “Mass in C Minor,” “Solemn Vespers,” “Coronation Mass”) Schubert (“Mass in G”), Rossini (“Stabat Mater,” “Petite Messe Solenelle”), Gounod, Poulenc (“Gloria”) and Tippett, including “A Child of Our Time” for many of the choral societies in the U.K..; concerts and a recording with EMI of Janácek’s “The Diary of One Who Disappeared” with Ian Bostridge and Ruby Philogene. Atherton also made her Italian debut under the director Gabriele Ferro in the Teatro di San Carlo, Naples singing “Rhapsodia” by Aldo Clementi.
Opera roles performed in Europe include Gilda (“Rigoletto”) at the Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Adele (“Die Fledermaus”) with European Chamber Opera in France; Eve in the contemporary opera “The Garden” by Josef Tall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London; Tytania (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) at The Hampton Court Festival U.K.; Ist Priestess in Gluck’s “Iphigènie en Tauride” at the Royal Opera House and at the Herodias Theatre Athens with Marc Minkowski; Belinda in “Dido and Aeneas” at the Alba Festival in Italy; Micaela and Frasquita in “Carmen” and Musetta in “La Bohème” touring with Opera East in the U.K.
Atherton is also becoming increasingly well known for her interpretation of Mozart roles. She has sung Susanna in “Le Nozze di Figaro” at the Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and at Opera Holland Park, Aminta in “Il Ré Pastore” conducted by Tamás Vásáry at the Britten Pears School; Despina in “Così Fan Tutte” with Opera á la Carte in Ireland; Zerlina in “Don Giovanni” with British Youth Opera; Pamina, 1st Lady, 1st Boy and Papagena in “Die Zauberflöte;” and Berta in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” on tour with Travelling Opera.
Performances in the United States include the role of Angelo in Handel’s “La Resurrezione” and Handel’s “Messiah” with Baroque Band in Chicago; Lola in Douglas Moore’s “Gallantry” with Forgotten Opera; Bruckner’s “Te Deum” and a Rodgers & Hammerstein Gala with Norman Scribner at the Kennedy Center; “Carmina Burana” with Reilly Lewis at Washington National Cathedral and Mozart’s “Exultate Jubilate” with Mike McCarthy; the U.S. premiere of Kleiburg’s “Requiem Mass” at Washington National Cathedral; and “Bachianas Brasileiras” at National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.
Atherton can also be heard singing on sound tracks for films such as “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings.” She resides in Silver Spring, Maryland, with her two gorgeous girls and their cat.