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27 year old New Zealand soprano Madison Horman is currently a Bicentenary Scholar studying towards an Advanced Diploma in Opera at the Royal Academy of Music. She studies under the tutelage of Nuccia Focile and Ingrid Surgenor, with personal mentorship from Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. In 2022 she completed her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music; where studying with Eiddwen Harrhy, she attained her Masters of Music with Distinction as well as a Postgraduate Diploma: Advanced Studies in Performance. 

Since beginning at the RAM, Madison has performed the roles of Lady Billows and Countess Almaviva in the Royal Academy Operas performances of Britten’s Albert Herring and Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. She has also sung the roles of Mimì, Arabella, Fiordiligi and Ellen Orford in opera scenes of La bohème, Arabella, Così fan tutte and Peter Grimes, and made her Wigmore Hall debut in a masterclass with American soprano Roberta Alexander.

In 2024 she was runner up at the Clonter Opera Prize where she represented the Academy competing against the five other leading UK Conservatoires, and was a Semi-Finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Award at Wigmore Hall. In 2023 she won the Richard Lewis/ Jean Shanks Award for singing and placed second in the in the Lockwood New Zealand Aria Competition where she also won the German Lied. She was awarded the Tait ROSL Award for the most outstanding New Zealand/Australian musician at the 2023 Royal Over-Seas League overseas final.

In 2022 she made her Bridgewater Hall debut preforming both the small role of Cousin, and as part of the ensemble in Puccini’s Madam Butterfly with the Hallé conducted by Sir Mark Elder, and made her Edinburgh International Festival debut performing alongside the Philharmonia Voices in a performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio, conducted by Sir Donald Runnicles.

During her time at the RNCM, Madison made her role debut as Mrs Gobineau in Menotti’s The Medium. She sang the role of Ellen Orford in Britten’s Peter Grimes in an extensive two-day RNCM conducting masterclass with full orchestra, as well as excerpts of Mimì from Puccini’s La bohème. She has been heard in partial roles including the title role in Strauss’ Arabella, as Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Elettra in Mozart’s Idomeneo and as Magda in a scene of Puccini’s La Rondine.

Madison has sung in masterclasses with Sir Graham Vick, Susan Bullock, Adrianne Pieczonka, Ann Murray, Omer Wellber, Prof. Edith Wiens and Nicky Spence. In 2021 she was one of two sopranos selected for the Opera North Chorus Mentorship Scheme.

Other competition success includes the 2022 Royal Over-Seas League Award for a young New Zealand musician of promise at their overseas final and placed second in the Isabel Jay Memorial Prize at the RAM. She won the Bessie Cronshaw/Frost Brownson Song Cycle Prize at the RNCM for her performance of Korngolds Op.22: Drei Lieder and was also the recipient of the Brigitte Fassbaender Award for the best singing of German Lieder at the RNCM. In both 2020 and 2021, she was the recipient of the Dame Eva Turner Award, was a finalist in the Frederic Cox Award at the RNCM, and was a finalist in the 2021 Sir David Madison Opera Prize in Liverpool. Madison has been a winner of the International Trinity College Exhibition Prize, and was nominated for the bi-annual National Young Performer Awards in 2016 and 2018.


She holds a Trinity College ATCL diploma in Musical Theatre, and has performed extensively in New Zealand’s regional musical theatre scene. Notable roles include, Amber in Hairspray, the Confidante in The Phantom of the Opera, the Mistress in Evita, Lisa in Mamma Mia, and Johanna in Sweeney Todd.

With a family background in dance, Madison is also trained in RAD and IDTA Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Theatre Craft. She holds a diploma in Highland Dance from the NZAHND and at 15 was ranked 5th nationally. For the past five years, she has adjudicated competitions and championships around New Zealand.


Madison’s studies are generously supported by the Royal Academy of Music’s Bicentenary Scholarship, the Wayne Sleep Foundation, and Madison gratefully acknowledges the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation who have provided her with mentoring and financial support.

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