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Elisabeth Harris

Singing Lessons, Keyboard Lessons, Piano Lessons | Artist development, Aural Lessons, Ensemble Coaching, Theory Lessons, Drama Lessons, NCEA Music Tutoring

  • Qualifications: MMA (distinction) Performance Voice; BMus (Hons); ATCL in Speech and Drama (distinction); Royal Schools Grade 8 Piano (merit); Royal Schools Grade 8 Singing (distinction); Royal Schools Grade 5 Theory and a B.A. in History and English
  • Pricing: $30 half an hour; $50 an hour
  • Styles: Classical; opera; music theatre; contemporary; pop; rock; jazz; country; folk; karaoke; choral or other.
  • Suitability: Any age or stage welcome!


In 2014, Elisabeth graduated from the New Zealand School of Music with a Master of Musical Arts (Distinction). An experienced chorus member with New Zealand Opera, Canterbury and Southern Opera, her operatic roles include: Medora (Il corsaro); Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus); Rusalka (in an adapted version of Rusalka); and Witch 1 (Dido and Aeneas). Additionally, Elisabeth has a wealth of oratorio experience and has sung the Alto solo in Handel’s Messiah on a number of occasions; the Alto solo in Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Haydn’s Paukenmesse; and the second Soprano role in Bach’s B MInor Mass. Elisabeth has also performed the role of Ophelia (Hamlet) for the Canterbury Repertory Theatre, and Emilia (Othello) for the Drama Society at Canterbury University. In 2013, 2014 and 2017 Elisabeth attended the New Zealand Opera School in Wanganui and in 2015 she toured New Zealand as a soloist with the Auckland based company Operatunity for their Big Band Era concert series. Moreover, Elisabeth has performed in concert for the Christchurch Cathedral Choir and the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra; The New Zealand Opera Society; Opera Factory; The New Zealand Opera Company; The New Zealand School of Music; the Dame Malvina Major Foundation; the Christchurch Music Centre; the Kapiti Chorale; the Nelson Civic Choir and Orchestra; the King’s College Old Collegians’ Association; Showbiz Christchurch; The Christchurch Clef Club; Southern Opera; Canterbury Opera Youth and with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. A previous winner of the Nelson Vocal Recital Competition, in September 2014 Elisabeth placed second in the prestigious Dame Malvina Major Foundation Aria in Wellington, and in 2016 she won the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Aria in Christchurch and was a finalist for the New Zealand Aria Competition in Rotorua.

During 2015 Elisabeth enjoyed significant solo performances around the country namely with the Kapiti Chamber Choir and Orchestra, the Napier Civic Choir and Orchestra and The New Zealand Opera Company for their season of Tosca. In 2016 she sang in a Southern Hemisphere premiere of Robert Hanson’s Hiawatha with the Kapiti Chamber Choir and Orchestra and also their Vaughan Williams Mass in G.  Additionally, last year Elisabeth made her solo debut with Wellington Orchestra for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and also their Mozart’s Requiem and she toured the country with the New Zealand Opera Company for their season of Sweeney Todd.  This coming year, Elisabeth looks forward to learning and performing the role of Madame Larina in the Days Bay operatic production of Eugene Onegin, as well as the role of Cherubino for the Eternity Opera Company in Wellington.  She will also be involved in further solo oratorio work with the Kapiti Chorale and the Auckland Choral Society and will be singing in the chorus of New Zealand Opera’s production of Carmen and their concert version of The Damnation of Faust.

Alongside her own training and professional development, Elisabeth has been teaching singing for the past 8 years in both Christchurch and Wellington. She has worked with a variety of learners including children, teenagers and adults in solo, choral and group settings. Elisabeth is passionate about working dynamically with singers of all ages and stages and seeks to specifically tailor the lessons to meet the diverse needs of each individual’s requirements, in a way that is vocally and musically rewarding and stimulating.

Teaching Info

I am qualified classically trained singer who has had considerable teaching experience across a range of genres and styles over the past eight years. It is my intention to provide all my pupils with valuable technical knowledge and information so that they can reach their full vocal potential and be empowered to eventually become problem solvers themselves. I am a strong believer that pupils thrive and grow in a positive environment, so my lessons are conducted in a safe, fun and memorable manner, in which the pupil can thrive and develop not only vocally, but also in terms of confidence and general musicianship.

My previous teaching experience includes a position as the Conductor and Musical Director of a Christchurch Youth Choir for the Christchurch Primary Schools’ Music Festival for the festivals in 2010 and 2011, and working with a range of voices both male and female from the ages of 5 – 66! I have prepared some of my pupils for their Royal Schools of Music and Trinity College London singing examinations; for N.C.E.A level 1, 2 and 3 voice assessments; and for auditions in the Wellington region and they have always been successful. In addition to the continuing work on my own voice under the tutelage of Margaret Medlyn and performing across New Zealand, I am currently focusing on expanding my private singing studio. Furthermore I am enjoying work at a music school in Wellington.

Drawing upon my own wealth of experience, I incorporate the Bel Canto vocal style with the key principles from the Estill voice training method to provide an holistic approach to singing. I am adept at imparting all the key aspects required for vocal longevity so we will work on a range of exercises to free the voice (just like stretching before you exercise!) whilst also delving into repertoire that you have always wanted to learn or sing! I can also assist with music reading and learning; character work; foreign languages; accompanying and preparation for exams, N.C.E.A, or auditions. I really find it so exciting to see the development of voices coming through my studio, as pupils go from strength to strength. So no matter what age or stage you are at, I look forward to hearing from you and working with you!

At the moment I have lesson slots available from Monday through to Saturday teaching in an amazing studio in central Wellington.  I offer either individual, or group lessons and by request I can also teach the piano.