About Me

chrstine-bioSome people are destined for the stage.  At an early age I enjoyed watching my father in amateur singing shows, and soon became obsessed with everything to do with the stage. There were singing opportunities at church, an annual pantomime where I regularly played lead boy as well as festivals where prizes were awarded for poetry reciting, as well as singing. A school teacher suggested I go and see a performance of “The Barber of Seville” and before long I was performing “una voce poco fa” at every opportunity.

Living near enough to London, I was able to take singing lessons with dame Isobel Baillie when she came to town once every six weeks, and she introduced me to the festivals and singing competitions which gave me excellent performance experience at a young age.

matrimonioI later took regular lessons at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, learned improvisation technique in the junior drama department there and then applied for the AGSM singing course.  After three years of study in vocal technique, Italian song, French and German repertoire, phonetics and two years on the opera course I went on to win a number of international prizes, one of which took me to Vienna for lessons with the fabulous soprano Irmgard Seefried. On my return to England I briefly joined Glyndebourne Festival chorus where I continued to prepare for a solo career.

matrimonio-1I was initially engaged to sing early operas with the English Bach Festival, performing in splendid Baroque buildings throughout Europe, including the Hall of Mirrors at the palace of Versailles, in Marie Antoinette’s own theatre in Monaco, the Banqueting Hall, Mansion House, London and the Royal Navel College, Greenwich.  I sang Bach’s Magnificat at Westminster Abbey with Richard Hickox and later, with David Mason and David Roblou founded the early music group Combattimento.  We gave concerts at the Wigmore Hall and after one such evening the critics pronounced that I had “star quality”, and then my lucky break came. At Glyndebourne I sang Lady Billows on the first three nights of Sir Peter Hall’s new production of Albert Herring, and with a review from Rodney Milnes in Opera Magazine my operatic career was launched. Next came Sashka in The Electrification of the Soviet Union by Nigel Osborne at Glyndebourne and at the Hebel Theatre in Berlin, and Katya Kabanova for Opera North.

For Welsh National Opera I sang Mimi (La Boheme), Marjenka (The Bartered Bride) conducted by Sir Charles McKerras, and Tosca with Carlo Rizzi. A period at ENO where I sang Thibault (Don Carlos), Mrs Fiorentino (Street Scene) First Lay Sister (Suor Angelica) Nella (Gianni Schicchi) and Miss Jessel (The Turn of the Screw) was crowned by a triumphant tour to Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev, ENO being the very first opera company to ever perform in Russia.  Returning to WNO I sang the roles of Violetta (La Traviata) and Mother/Witch (Hansel and Gretel) for the National Tour. 

tosca-photoWith David Freeman’s Opera Factory came my first televised  Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and for Raymond Gubbay I sang Santuzza (Cavalleria Rusticana) and the title roles Tosca at the Barbican Centre and Aida at the Royal Albert Hall. Then came Lady Macbeth with Opera Zuid, Pocket Opera Nuremburg and Lyric opera Singapore as well as Amelia (Ballo in Maschera), the title role Adriana Lecouvreur, and Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) for Holland Park Festival.  For the Royal Opera House I sang Wanda (Sophie’s Choice) with Simon Rattle, the Overseer (Elektra) and Verdi’s Lady Macbeth at the Edinburgh Festival, conducted by Sir Edward Downes.

I maintained a concert career alongside my opera appearances, giving song recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room London, as well as frequent oratorio performances. Engagements all around the country for music clubs and orchestras included Gorecki Symphony 3, Ravel’s Sheherezade, Mahler’s Symphony 4, Strauss Four Last Songs, Les Illuminations and War Requiem by Benjamin Britten, Rachmaninov’s The Bells and Verdi requiem.

Recordings include Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona, and a collection of Rossini songs with the early music group Combattimento, Russian Requiem by Elis Pehkonen, and Visitato Sepulchri by James Macmillan.

In recent years I have focused on chamber music projects, singing with the Eagle Four quartet, and have developed my own one-woman show. “A Diva Dismantled”.

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  • [Tosca] Christine Bunning graced the title role with style and magnificence, in complete vocal command.

    The Observer

  • Christine Bunning who creates a highly-charged portrait of the heroine, is thrilling in her upper register and is simply electrifying at the climaxes.

    The Metro

  • [Adriana Lecouvreur] Adriana is sung with rich and glamorous tone by Christine Bunning.

    The Spectator

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