One of the most promising young mezzo sopranos of her generation Arlene Rolph studied at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, The Royal College of Music, London and the National Opera Studio. After receiving a distinction in her Masters degree in Opera she was the recipient of many wards including the Richard Lewis/Jean Shanks Award from Glyndebourne Festival Opera and won second place in the Kathleen Ferrier competition at the Wigmore Hall. She was associate artist at Welsh National Opera from 2003-2005.
Arlene enjoys an international career having appeared at the Glyndebourne Festival, Frankfurt Oper, Theater and der Wien, Staatsoper Berlin, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera. Grange Park Opera, English Touring Opera, Music Theatre Wales and the Batignano Festival, Italy. Her major roles include Rosina/Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Varvara/Katya Kabanova, Der Kompomist and Dryade/Ariadne auf Naxos, Hansel/Hansel and Gretel,Siebel/Faust, Cherubino/Le Nozze di Figaro, Idamante/Idomeneo, Bianca/The Rape of Lucretia, Annio/La Clemenza di Tito and Speranza and Messaggiera in L’Orfeo.
She has sung under the baton of Carlo Rizzi, Diego Masson, Carlo Franci, Maurizio Barbacini, David Hill, Rene Jacobs, Rinaldo Alessendrini and Richard Farnes. She has been directed by Neil Armfield, David McVicar, Anthony MacDonald, Elaine Kidd, Deborah Warner, John La Bouchardiere, Michael McCarthy, David Hermann and Dale Duesing. She has sung at many high profile concert venues such as the Wigmore Hall, the Cadogan Hall, St Johns Smith Square and the Theatre an Der Wien in repertoire including Handel/Messiah, Tippet/A Child of Our Time, Mozart Mass in C Minor and Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius.
A main focus in Arlene’s career is new music and she is much in demand for contemporary opera. She created and premiered the roles of Jane Claremont/Monster by Sally Beamish. Mother/White by Gareth Williams and Mother/The Letter by Khodosh all for Scottish Opera. For Music Theatre Wales created the roles of Woman/Crime Fiction by Huw Watkins, Mother Superior/Gloria in “Letters of a Love Betrayed” by Eleanor Alberga and the title role of Julie by Philippe Boesmanns. She took the lead role in Michael Berkeley and Ian McEwan’s opera “For You” and has workshopped new works with ROH2 Covent Garden. In 2011 she sang the premiere of Michael Ellison’s “Kublah Khan” at the Istanbul Festival and Richard Barnard’s “Vanishing Songs” at the Elektrostatic Festival. She also toured to New Zealand with Scottish Opera and the innovative “Baby O” project.
Alongside her performance career Arlene is very active in creating and progressing educational and inspirational music projects. She is co-director and co- founder of the contemporary opera company NOISE (New Opera in Scotland Events) which commissions and produces new opera in Scotland and tours projects throughout the UK and abroad. She is a vocal teacher at Tonbridge School, Brighton College and has coached at the Royal Conservatoire for Scotland, National Youth Choir of Scotland and has held masterclasses in opera at Edinburgh Student Opera. Arlene also runs a business partnership; “Double Day Divas” which are classical song and music workshops designed for babies through to adults.