Fermata Festival

Carolyn Dobbin – mezzo-soprano

Carolyn Dobbin

Northern Irish mezzo-soprano Carolyn Dobbin began her career as a teacher of Art & Design before graduating from the RSAMD. Carolyn was Associate Artist at WNO in 2010 and spent two years at Luzern Theatre, Switzerland. She has performed extensively in opera, oratorio and in solo recitals, including appearances at ROH Linbury, ETO,ENO, GPO, Opera Holland Park, Stadttheater Bern, and the RAH. CDs include ‘Raymond and Agnes’ with Richard Bonynge, Ethel Smythes ‘Fétè Gallant’ both for Retrospect Opera and a CD ‘Caleno’ with Iain Burnside of songs by N Irish composers. Recent roles include Popova , Smeton/Anna Bolena for LFO, Fenena/Nabucco for DOF, Mrs Peachum, The Witch/ Hansel and Gretel for Irish National Opera. Future roles include Siegrune/Wagner’s Walküre 2020/23, Mary in Der Fliegende Höllander in 2022, NI Opera’s Wallace Film Project, a Verdi opera, the premier of a new Harvey Weinstein based opera and Handels Alexander’s Feast with Le Foyer Des Artistes.

What has creating art meant to you over the last year?

I have a BA Hons in Design, PGCE and taught Art and Design briefly before studying MMus opera at the RSAMD. As a creative person I had to find an outlet, so when theatres closed, painting became my sanity and my joy. Life had paused so I started painting people and places I missed, musicians I was supposed to work with and beautiful places I missed from home. For a few hours a day I was transported through my painting to these places. I also tried to capture that special energy and charisma that performers exude when on stage.

Ariadne, soprano Helena Dix

Acrylic on canvas

40 x 50cm


Falstaff (Sir Bryn Terfel)

Acrylic on canvas

60 x 80cm


The Pianist – Iain Burnside

Acrylic on canvas

40 x 50cm


Ballintoy Church, North Coast Northern Ireland

Acrylic on canvas

50 x 70cm


The Harbour Bar

Acrylic canvas

50 x 40cm