Dame Malvina Major is one of New Zealand’s great opera divas. She has had an outstanding international career as a singer, but is also renowned as a teacher of voice and for her encouragement of the next generation of artists through the Dame Malvina Major Foundation.
Her international career spans 28 major operatic roles, an extensive oratorio and concert repertoire and a significant discography of commercial recordings. She has held teaching positions as a Professor of Voice at the University of Canterbury and is currently a Senior Fellow in Music at the University of Waikato. The Dame Malvina Major Foundation was first formed in 1992 and continues to support the training of young New Zealand artists. The Dame Malvina Major Foundation Emerging Artists Programme was established in conjunction with New Zealand Opera and PricewaterhouseCoopers, along with an understudy programme with Canterbury Opera. In recent years the Foundation has been established in Holland and the United States of America to train New Zealanders abroad as well as Dutch and American artists. She completed a ‘Heartland Tour’ entitled ‘My Life in Song’, touring the North Island in 2009 and the South Island in 2010 as well as opera concerts with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. She performed at the national Christchurch earthquake memorial service in March 2011. Dame Malvina Major continues to perform regularly, most recently at the Waikato Times Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival with a current student Amina Edris in February 2012. She has maintained her connections with international institutions in the US, England and Europe and is pursuing new contacts in Asia.
PCNZM 2008, updated to Dame Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, 2009
New Zealand Honour recipient