Soprano Menna Cazel is from Pontypridd, South Wales and she graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she was taught by John Llewelyn Evans. She subsequently completed her master’s degree in Operatic Studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater ‘Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Leipzig, taught by Dr. Jeanette Favaro-Reuter. During 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons, Menna was a member of the Young Artist Ensemble at the Dresden Semperoper.
Engagements this season include Maddalena in Il viaggio a Reims and Marie in Spoliansky ‘s Wie Werd Ich Reich und Glücklich at the Semperoper in Dresden. She will also perform Beethoven 9 Symphony with the Brussels Philharmonic conducted by Stéphane Denève and Mozart Requiem with the Orchestre de Bretagne. In 2018, she made her house and role début as Pousette in Massenet’s Manon with Oper Köln. Other notable engagements include her role debuts as both Pamina and Erste Dame in Die Zauberflöte and Frasquita in a new production of Carmen at the Dresden Semperoper. As a Young Artist at the Semperoper, she has performed numerous comedic roles including Berta in Il Barbiere di Sivilglia, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro. Other roles in Dresden include Prinzessin von Carignan in Friedrich Goldmann’s R. Hot bzw. Die Hitze, Die Amme in Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse by Ernst Toch, Ännchen in Der Freischütz and Slave in Salome. She made her professional operatic début in 2014 as Erste Blumenmädchen in Parsifal at Oper Leipzig and had previously performed the Title Role in Lortzing’s Undine at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig in 2012. Engagements last season include her house debut for Staatsoper Hamburg as Frasquita in Carmen, Hl. Katharina in Walter Braunfels's Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna for and Iza in Offenbach’s La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein for Oper Köln and Die Amme in Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse and Atala in Offenbach’s Häuptling Abendwind at the Dresden Semperoper.
Recent concert performances include Fauré Requiem with the Cardiff Philharmonic Choir and a song recital with Eugene Asti at the Pontio Arts Centre in Bangor, North Wales. Other highlights include a St David’s Day Gala with Sir Bryn Terfel and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Gareth Jones at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, the ’Spirit of Unity’ concert Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod (both televised for S4C), a St David’s day Concert with the Sydney Welsh Choir in Sydney Australia and a performance as a guest soloist again with Sir Bryn Terfel at the Bristol Proms. She has also appeared in concert with the Geelong Welsh Ladies Choir and the Melbourne Welsh Choir in Australia and she frequently performs as a guest soloist with choirs across Wales such as the London Welsh Male Voice Choir and the Pontypridd Male Choir. Menna was a guest soloist with Sir Bryn Terfel for his Christmas television programme for S4C in 2013.
Menna was a semi-finalist in the 37th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Latvia 2018, the 51st International Vocal Competition’s-Hertogenbosch 2017 and also in the Das Lied Competition 2015. She also won 2nd prize in the “Ton und Erklärung” des Kulturkreises der Deutschen Wirtschaft competition in 2014 and was invited to represent the Dresden Semperoper in the Stella Maris International Vocal Competition. In 2013, Menna won the inaugural ‘Voice of the Future’ competition at the 2013 Llangollen International Eisteddfod. She was also the joint recipient of the W. Towyn Roberts Scholarship at the National Eisteddfod of Wales 2012. Other prizes include the Art Song Prize at the 2013 Thelma King Award, first prize at the 2009 Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and the Osborne Roberts Memorial Prize at the 2008 National Eisteddfod. Menna is a recipient of awards from the Bryn Terfel Foundation and the Elizabeth Evans Trust.