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Katherine Winitana*

Voice Type

2024 Associate Artist - Soprano

Home Town

Paharakeke, Hastings


Ngaariki Kaiputahi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa

How did you become interested in opera singing?

I joined a youth initiative programme in Hawkes Bay called Project Prima Volta. This programme's key focus is to bring young people together through the power of classical music. I initially had very little interest in Classical music however I had a crush on one of the boys already in the programme so decided to join. Within that programme I was given a line in one of the Operas they put on every year and I also got to sing a duet with an amazing Soprano from San Francisco, Toni-Marie Palmertree, it was then that I caught the opera bug.

Performance highlights so far?

  • Lexus Semi Finals 2022 

  • Dare to Dream - Pene Pati and Amina Edris Concert 2021

  • Katherine and Emmanuel Honours Recital 2022 

  • Lockwood New Zealand Aria Competition 2022 

  • Magic Flute - Pamina (shortened version during covid) 2022

  • Magic Flute - Festival Opera 2023 

  • La Traviata - Wellington Opera 2022 

  • Dame Malvina Major - Sharing the Dream 2022 

  • Dame Malvina Major's Birthday 2023

  • TANZOS Final Gala Concert with Covent Garden artists, 2023


Rhiannon Cooper.JPG

Photo © Charles Brooks

What are you looking forward to about being part of TANZOS?

I am excited by the schedule that has been outlined so far. Having a really structured day filled with different learning opportunities excites me. I am excited and grateful that the programme is able to bring my teacher up from Dunedin so that we can work together much more.

Staff. I am looking forward to being around and soaking up as much information from the staff that are involved in the programme. The tutors are currently working in the industry so the information we are getting is based on the industry as it is now.

What are your career hopes following TANZOS?

I am really hoping that this year I can put my head down and WORK! Really get things sorted vocally and actually have a really solid plan. Currently I intend to audition for the Lyric Opera Programme in Chicago and also try my luck with the San Francisco Merola Programme.

Katherine is supported by The Dame Malvina Major Foundation and Joan Egan


Katherine Winitana was a TANZOS 2023 Artist and Dame Malvina Major Foundation Studio Artist with NZ Opera for 2021. She has experience in a wide variety of music genre as a performer and composer. In 2016 she was the inaugural recipient of the Vodafone and Recorded Music New Zealand scholarship award and performed a song she composed to commemorate the ANZAC Centenary at the 2015 Waiata Maori Music Awards. In 2016 she was the inaugural recipient of the Vodafone and Recorded Music New Zealand scholarship for her Bachelor of Commercial Music at Massey University – College of Creative Arts. 

Katherine made her debut with the NZSO in The Magic Flute WITH Festival Opera in 2023, and featured in many of the TANZOS 2023 Events. 

Katherine has been a member of the chorus for five productions by Festival Opera. (La Boheme, Madame Butterfly, Carmen, La Traviata, and Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci) She was also Assistant to Stage Director John Wilkie for La Traviata, Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci. Katherine is a Student Mentor for Project Prima Volta in Hawkes Bay, which draws teenagers from diverse backgrounds together to help them find common ground through music and performance.

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