Anna Dowsley – Press review

Così fan tutte – Dorabella

Melbourne Opera, 2019

Anna Dowsley gave a sparkling interpretation of Dorabella, capturing her wavering sentiments, doubts and urges in a precisely timed display of her extensive acting skills. Her luxuriant mezzo has an almost infinite range of shades which she used to perfection.” Gregory Pritchard – Concertonet

Anna Dowsley played Dorabella with just the right degree of mischief and romance, and a pleasing mezzo.” Patricia Maunder – Arts Hub

Opera Australia, 2016

« Anna Dowsley, who moved from pants roles to leading lady as Rosina in The Barber of Seville earlier in the year, confirms her promise with another lovely, comic performance, her silvery mezzo-soprano well suited to the role. The two of them [with Nicole Car] both have a warm stage presence and convince as close sisters. » Jo Litson  – Limelight

« Nicole Car as Fiordiligi and Anna Dowsley as Dorabella are immaculately paired as the two sisters, providing a golden vocal blend in ensembles while each asserting a high level of distinctiveness and individual character… Dowsley has a more focused, narrower sound in terms of colour, matching her manic intensity and exaggerated passion of character, and she cuts through ensembles with thrilling definition. » Peter McCallum –  Sydney Morning Herald

« Talented soprano Nicole Car and up-and-coming mezzosoprano Anna Dowsley formed a perfect partnership as Fiordiligi and Dorabella respectively….Elfin Dowsley played the wavering Dorabella, singing with expressive ease as she alternately swooned and strutted with an engaging confidence, no mean feat considering she was invited into Opera Australia’s Young Artist Program as recently as 2014. » Tom Pillans – The Daily Telegraph

« Anna Dowsley has only recently been given major roles with the company and she more than justifies her casting as Dorabella. In her challenging Act 1 aria “Smanie implacabile” she surmounted the technical challenges and delivered it with appropriate fire and energy. Throughout the performance her characterisation of the younger sister was finely graded as she discovered the new possibilities outside her confined world. » Larry Turner – Sounds like Sydney

« Nicole Car and Anna Dowsley both give excellent performances as the sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi, and share all the intimacy, warmth and squabbles of sisterhood. Car’s crystal-cut soprano is well matched by Dowsley’s darker, rounder sound and the voices blend and balance perfectly. » Eleanor Wood – Cut Common 


The Rape of Lucretia – Lucretia

Sydney Chamber Opera, 2017

« It is when Anna Dowsley as Lucretia and Jeremy Kleeman as Collatinus are allowed to both sing and act their roles that the dramatic temperature rises spectacularly. » Ian Dickson – Australian Book Review

« Anna Dowsley gives the best performance I’ve seen from her as Lucretia, […] her vocal performance is exciting and dramatically-driven. She has astonishing warmth and clarity throughout her entire range, none of which is sacrificed as Lucretia endures all kinds of torment. » Ben Neutze – Daily Review

« Sustaining a richly coloured tessitura and excellent dynamic control, mezzosoprano Anna Dowsley was outstanding as Lucretia. » Murray Black – The Australian

« Anna Dowsley has ringing rounded purity of sound as Lucretia. » Peter McCallum – Sydney Morning Herald

Parsifal – Esquire / Flower Maiden / Voice from above

Sydney Opera House, 2017

« While Anna Dowsley really stood out as an Esquire, Flower Maiden and that Heavenly voice at the end of Act I, her firm, luscious tone rising to Wagnerian proportions. It will be fascinating to see where this young singer’s career takes her next. » Clive Paget – Limelight


Il Barbiere di Siviglia – Rosina

Opera Australia, 2016

« Anna Dowsley’s Rosina is lively, charming and humorous » Irina Dunn – Alt Media

« Dowsley, making her role debut in this production as Rosina, also impressed with her confident singing, her elegant sense of style, and especially, her ability to hold her own on a stage on which she is surrounded by some of the world’s most experienced exponents of the opera buffo style, performing at the top of their game. » Bill Stephens – Arts Review

« Anna Dowsley finally gets to wear some frocks as Rosina, after playing trouser roles for most of last year. She really is perfectly cast in the role: youthful, full of spark and spunk, and a great sense of comedic timing. I’d be very surprised if she doesn’t become OA’s new favourite young mezzo for comedies. It’s also an excellent vocal performance, and her first aria showcases the full capabilities of her voice — full of fast runs and sudden turns. » Ben Neutze – Daily Review

« Mezzo-soprano Anna Dowsley made an appealing Rosina: full of energy and crackling resentment as she bristles under the eye of her lustful guardian, Dr Bartolo.
Her voice showed colour and a rare adroitness in its ability to make sharp turns in key and tone. She also has a gift for comic timing. » Tom Pillans – Daily Telegraph

« Anna Dowsley is perfectly cast in the lead female role of resourceful red-head, Rosina. Her acting is spicy, spunky and savvy, capturing the dreamy and yet fiercely independent spirit of her character. She is quite the opposite build to most leading ladies of opera, which lends itself to a more youthful, lively, springy physicality in her acting, and which does not at all come at the expense of vocal power or stamina. The mezzo soprano is fully capable of all the fast runs and sudden turns that Rossini scripted for Rosina and showcases these brilliantly in her opening cavatina. Her top notes are all secure and her tone rounded and well-shaped, with a subtlety of expression beyond her years. » Alicia Tripp – The Plus Ones

« As the resourceful Rosina, mezzo-soprano Anna Dowsley makes another distinguished role debut for OA. A gifted actor with a silvery voice flecked with copper overtones, she is absolutely right in the part, playing the savvy young woman with charm and ebullience. Her Una voce poco fa is subtly shaped, never overly flash, with all the top notes securely in place. » Clive Paget – Limelight Magazine

« Anna Dowsley is delightful as Doctor Bartolo‘s young ward, Rosina. She captures the youth, playfulness and scheming of the young woman, presenting a nuanced physical performance and beautiful clear, strong vocals. She accentuates every phrase with little movements that convey Rosina‘s youth and the carefree era in which Moshinsky has set the work and fits with the ‘silent comic movie’ styling. It is also refreshing to see an opera casting a performer that matches the image of the character with Dowsley‘s youthful frame in keeping with the images of lithe young flappers. » Jade Kops – Broadway World

« Among the strong cast, Anna Dowsley makes an impressive role debut as Rosina, singing with rounded fluency, agile control in rapid passages and with flashes of colour and vocal elan. From the dramatic point of view, she enlivened a graceful and poised demeanour with moments of coltish impetuousness. » Peter McCallum – Sydney Morning Herald

« Rosina was sung by the young Australian mezzo-soprano Anna Dowsley who is now beginning to sing major roles with the company. She started somewhat carefully but her characterisation developed during the course of the performance. Her voice is well suited to the role and she was mischievous and sprightly in turns, as the role requires. » Larry Turner – Sounds like Sydney

« Making her role debut, Anna Dowsley was the picture of dramatic and vocal assurance as Rosina, capturing the saucy resourcefulness of her character to a T. Her opening aria, the well-known “Una voce poco fa”, was much embroidered and allowed us to enjoy an impressive display of vocal agility. » David Larkin – Bachtrack

« Anna Dowsley, who has established herself playing pants roles such as Cherubino in The Marriage of FigaroSiebel in Faust and Tebaldo in Don Carlos, shows that she has the sparkle and charm to be a leading lady. She captures Rosina’s pertness and clear-eyed determination to get what she wants, and sings beautifully, her shining mezzo secure yet flexible. » Jo Litson – Scene and Heard

« In this composite set, the room on the right belongs to the trapped Rosina (Anna Dowsley). Another cast member with relentless energy, Dowsley makes the most of any comic opportunity, exclamation and visual gag.
Dowsley works her way through the set like a bird trapped in a cage; she is a bird with a true voice and unstoppable spirit. Her solo and ensemble rendering of Rossini’s conversation and rollicking repetitions is unflagging. The Act One double aria “Una voce poca fa” (“A voice a while back”) is an example of clear measured tone and facility without over-excessive fireworks in the sections of demanding development. » Paul Nolan – Sydney Arts Guide

Le Nozze di Figaro – Cherubino

Opera Australia, 2015

« Anna Dowsley was a tall, gangling and endearing Cherubino, singing the character’s two magical arias with fresh bright-eyed colour and bringing credibility to the chemistry that must be ignited between her and the countess. » Peter McCallum – Sydney Morning Herald

« A singer very much on the rise, Anna Dowsley offers a neat Cherubino, capturing the gawkiness and insecurity of the adolescent and proving a firm audience favourite. » Clive Paget – Limelight Magazine

Faust – Siebel

Opera Australia, 2015

« In a refreshingly original take on the trouser role, Anna Dowsley proves a star turn once again as the gawky Siebel – his gammy-leg presumably keeping him out of the army. She acts with understated passion and great realism, making her very, very watchable on stage. And vocally she’s first rate, clear and rich of tone with superlative diction. » Clive Paget – Limelight Magazine

« Anna Dowsley as Siebel charms the audience with her beautiful lyrical mezzo voice and boyish acting. » Eliza Eggler  – Australian Stage

Il Turco in Italia – Zaida

Opera Australia, 2014

« A star-of-tomorrow performance from Dowsley. The young mezzo has a delightfully fresh, unmannered presence, sings with taste and understanding, and appeared quite unawed in this company. A real find. » UK Opera Magazine

« Against her is newcomer Anna Dowsley making her debut with the company, and singing with a fresh attractive sound and natural expressive ease that informed both shaping of musical phrases and her characterisation of the part. » Peter McCallum – Sydney Morning Herald

« Opera Australia Young Artist Anna Dowsley makes an impressive debut as the youthful and optimistic Zaida. » Shamistha de Soysa – SoundsLikeSydney

« Not as large as these characters, but a fine performer nonetheless, is Anna Dowsley, as Zaida, the jilted gypsy girl. Fine-boned and featured, Dowsley draws you in with her pristine and powerful mezzo. This is a voice to be reckoned with and that she’s so surefooted in all departments in her OA debut is an immense feather for her cap. » Lloyd Bradford Syke – Daily Review

« Last but not least of the six main characters is the Pasha’s former ‘sex-slave’, Zaida. I say not least because by any standards the Opera Australia debut of Anna Dowsley must be accounted a triumph. A member of the Moffatt Oxenbould Young Artist Program, the young mezzo shows a warm, flexible voice of considerable power and projection and dramatically held her own against all comers. » Clive Paget – Limelight Magazine

« There is also an exciting mainstage debut by Anna Dowsley – a voice and comic performance to savour. » Diana Simmonds – StageNoise

« Rising artist Anna Dowsley also made her mark as Zaida, with a light but clear-toned mezzo-soprano instrument. » Sandra Bowdler – Opera Britannia

« Young mezzo-soprano Anna Dowsley makes her Opera Australia debut with the role of lovelorn gypsy Zaida. Most often hidden under wig and makeup, Dowsley’s natural charm still shines through, and her pure, well-defined singing voice is a pleasure to hear.» Simon Parris – Man in Chair

I Have Had Enough

Sydney Chamber Opera, 2011

« a blonde gothic abbess/goddess dressed in black with weird lipstick (Anna Dowsley) entered the earth-covered arena bearing a cross-like dagger aloft… She sang the soprano version of this glorious piece with pristine clarity of tone, fine pitch and well-moulded melodic shape » Peter McCallum – Sydney Morning Herald

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