Mezzo soprano Wendy Dawn Thompson is to be Blackheath Hall’s Artist-in-Residence for 2010. Thompson first collaborated with the venue last year, when she sang the role of Orpheus in the community opera, Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice, to great acclaim (and an enthusiastic review from Whatsonstage.com ).

Over the course of the year, Wendy will be involved in many exciting community projects, including an intriguing collaboration between The Blackheath Halls Orchestra and Laban dancers (November 28 & 29), and an ambitious Dido and Aeneas in a Weekend workshop (2 & 3 October) which will see participants learn a Purcell opera in just a few days!

New Zealand-raised Wendy Dawn Thompson enjoys an international career on the operatic, concert and recital stages. Winner of the 2003 Kathleen Ferrier Prize, she went on to represent New Zealand in the 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World. Wendy’s recital appearances have included the Wigmore Hall, Aldeburgh Festival and Edinburgh International Festival. In 2008 she made her Royal Opera House debut in the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur.

The Blackheath Halls in Blackheath, South East London, is London's oldest established purpose-built concert venue. Featuring a 600-seat Great Hall, 160-seat Recital room and Licensed Café Bar, its renowned acoustics are favoured by world-famous orchestras, ensembles, record labels and conductors. Its community programme provides opportunities for people of all ages and all levels of ability to participate in a diverse range of practical activities and events, including an annual community opera with orchestra and professional soloists.

Keith Murray, Blackheath Halls’ General Manager, says: “We are delighted to welcome Wendy back to The Halls in this new capacity as our Artist-in-Residence. Her experience and passion for her art form are inspirational and our community programme participants thoroughly enjoy working with her. Our association with Wendy will greatly benefit our important community work and help encourage more people to get involved”.