This is where it gets complicated. Though it's turning out to be useful as a singing teacher....


A useful soprano at school, Zoe gained a Choral Scholarship as soprano to St John's College, Oxford. Whilst studying there it was decided that she was in fact a mezzo soprano, and it was as one of these noble workhorses that she entered the Royal Northern College of Music to start her Postgraduate Diploma course.


Her first lessons at the RNCM taught her the alto repertoire - the lowest female voice range - of Olga in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, Cornelia in Handel's Giulio Cesare, the alto solos in Bach oratorios and Handel's Messiah.


It was then discovered that she has top notes, so she was introduced to the higher (mezzo soprano) repertoire and the Zwischenfach repertoire (roles performed by mezzos and sopranos alike). These include Rosina in Barber of Seville, Cherubino in Marriage of Figaro and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. Happy with coloratura, she has enjoyed exploring works by Handel and Rossini.


Since having children and concentrating more on her technique, Zoe has, under the tutelage of Arwel Treharne Morgan, begun to rely much more on the breath and has begun looking at the soprano repertoire once more. Her legato now much more reliable, the sort of roles she now looks at are Mimi in Boheme and Countess in Marriage of Figaro. Thus she has performed in different operas as a younger version of herself (Rosina of Barber becomes the Countess Almaviva of Nozze di Figaro in the original story) and as her own youthful admirer (Cherubino has a thing for the Countess). Handily, she has retained great facility in the bottom end of her voice, which makes her an extremely versatile performer.


In addition to the operatic repertoire, Zoe is a huge fan of Art Songs - German Lieder, Italian Canzoni and French Chansons. She feels immensely blessed to have studied Lieder with John Cameron at RNCM. Her love of this art form is rooted in her familiarity with and love of French, German and Italian poetry - a passion ignited by a fantastic German teacher at school and which led to her studying German and Italian Language and Literature at Oxford. She considers these songs to be a form of condensed opera - a pocket-size encapsulation of the big themes in life and - at its best - a truly equal partnership between music and words.


Zoe's performances include stage productions of other genres: Happy End, West Side Story (twice - once as Maria and once as Anita) and Gilbert and Sullivan pieces. She is a great fan of the cabaret works of Jacques Brel and Kurt Weill. She also has experience in non-musical drama, as Penelope in Derek Walcott's telling of The Odyssey, Goody Proctor in Arthur Miller's The Crucible, and Holga in his After The Fall, amongst others.

List of Roles performed and studied:


Rosina in Rossini’s Barber of Seville, the world premier of the contemporary work Dance to the End of Time by Martin Read, Popova in Walton’s The Bear for Guildford Opera, Anita in West Side Story for Pimlico Opera and Ascanio in Berlioz’ Benvenuto Cellini for UCOpera. Clori in Handel’s Clori, Tirsi & Fileno in the Covent Garden Festival, Mercedes in Carmen at Opera Holland Park and Carmen with the Northern Sinfonia and Garden Opera. In 2000 she was an Apprentice in Meistersinger at the Royal Opera House, conducted by Haitink, and again in 2012 under Sir Tony Pappano.


Second Lady and Second Boy in The Magic Flute, Mother Goose in The Rake’s Progress, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro and Second Norn in Götterdämmerung


TV and recordings include the alto solo (duet) in Mahler’s Das Klagende Lied conducted by Kent Nagano and the televised finals of the competition to represent Wales in Cardiff Singer of the World 2002.


As a mezzo soprano I subdivided the roles suitable for me into 3 types:


‘ Pants’ roles

Cutting a convincingly boyish fugure, ideal roles include:

Cherubino, Sesto 

Sesto/Rinaldo/ Ariodante & similar Handel roles

Stefano (Gounod)

Ascanio (Berlioz) 

Smeton (Donizetti)

Ruggiero (Alcina)


Zwischenfach roles

Zoë's facility in the upper register of her voice makes her ideal for the following girlish roles, amongst which are:


Almirena, Clori (Handel)




Charlotte (Werther)


Other female roles

Equally at home with coloratura, classical, romantic and contemporary styles, these roles include:






Lucretia (Rape of Lucretia)

Helen (King Priam)