After completing a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australian soprano Anita Watson graduated with honours from the Australian Opera Studio. She was a member of the Cologne Opera Studio 2006-7 and the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden from 2007-9.
Anita has won prizes in many prestigious competitions including the Australian Singing Competition, the Queen Sonja International Music Competition in Oslo, Neue Stimmen in Germany and the Plácido Domingo Operalia competition. In 2009 she was awarded the first prize and the audience award at the international ARD Music Competition in Munich and the SWR Emmerich-Smola Prize in 2010.
As a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden her roles included the title role in Donizetti's Rita, Naiad (Ariadne auf Naxos), Gretel and Dewfairy (Hänsel und Gretel), First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Flowermaiden (Parsifal) and Second Woman (Dido and Aeneas). She also understudied Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Mimì (La Bohème). For the Australian and Cologne opera studios she sang the title role in Handel's Xerxes, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia, Pedro in Don Quichotte, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Micaëla in Carmen and Barena in Jenufa.
In 2010 Anita made her house debuts at Teatro La fenice in Venice as Governess in The Turn of the Screw and at the Salzburg Festival as 5th Maid in Elektra by Richard Strauß. In season 2010-11 she added roles Mimì (Nationale Reisopera) and Donna Anna (Landestheater Salzburg) in her repertoire. In September 2011 she returned to La Fenice in Venice in the role of Donna Anna, followed by her Opera Australia debut in Sydney in the same role.
In addition to opera Anita has appeared worldwide in concerts, recitals and television and radio broadcasts. Her success in competitions has lately taken her to sing with many German and Norwegian Symphony Orchestras and festivals and her performances have been broadcast on German television and radio. In 2010 Anita sang Beethoven’s 9th Symphony the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Antonio Pappano. She also performed the Strauss Vier letzte Lieder with the Rheinische Philharmonie in Koblenz and the Mariiinsky Orchestra in St Petersburg, Mahler’s 8th Symphony with Sir Mark Elder and recorded “Ariadne auf Naxos” for the Chandos label. In 2011 she performed Beethoven Symphony no. 9 with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Anita’s oratorio repertoire includes Carmina Burana, Mozart's Requiem, Tippet's A Child of our Time, the Fauré Requiem, Brahms’ Requiem, Verdi Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria, Mozart's Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, Handel's Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Howell’s Hymnus Paradisi and Gounod's Redemption among others.
Recent engagements include First Lady (Die Zauberflöte) for the Royal Opera House, Flowermaiden (BBC Proms), Mimì (La Bohème) for Opera North, Governess (The Turn of the Screw) for Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) for Welsh National Opera, Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress) for Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) for Reisopera and West Australian Opera and the Governess (The Turn of the Screw) for English National Opera.