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"Meriel Cunningham [is] lush casting as the errant Iolanthe"



Meriel Cunningham is a highly versatile mezzo-soprano and singing actress. With a diverse career across opera, operetta and musical theatre, she has received much critical acclaim with reviewers calling her performances “mesmerising” (The Stage), “marvellous” (Opera Now) and noting her “rich mezzo soprano tone” (Theatre Reviews North). She is a DEBUT Horizon Artist.

In particular Meriel is known for portraying the mezzo-soprano soubrette roles of Gilbert and Sullivan and as a regular performer with Charles Court Opera has played Lady Angela in Patience, Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, Bobstay the Boatswain in H.M.S.Pinafore, and Iolanthe in Iolanthe. She made her debut with the National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company for their 2022 season, performing the title role in Iolanthe and Princess Kalyba in Utopia Limited. Meriel returns for their 2023 season singing Pitti-Sing (The Mikado), Edith (The Pirates of Penzance) and making her role debut as Phoebe in The Yeomen of the Guard.

Described as “an excellent actor” (The Stage) and “razor-sharp funny” (The Arts Desk), Meriel revels in playing comedic characters with notable operetta roles including Regina in The Princess of Trebizonde for New Sussex Opera, Louka in The Chocolate Soldier for Opera della Luna and The Muse/Nicklausse in The Tales of Hoffmann for Grimeborn Opera Festival.

Alongside her much-praised role debut as Carmen with Prologue Opera in collaboration with the Hastings Philharmonic, she has also performed as Pastora in Dorilla in Tempe at Wexford Festival Opera and covered the role of Minera in The Return of Ulysses for Royal Opera at The Roundhouse.

In musical theatre, Meriel made her West End debut in the immersive production Doctor Who : Time Fracture in 2021, and last year appeared in the UK premiere of cabaret musical It's in the Air at the Hope Mill Theatre.

Meriel has also appeared on the concert platform in performances of Handel's Messiah at Liverpool Cathedral, St John's Passion at St James' Piccadilly, and a recital of Kurt Weill Cabaret Songs at Barbican Hall, as well as the 'My Music' concert series at St. John Smith SquareShe regularly hosts and performs at DEBUT's signature #secretconcert series in London.

A graduate of The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Meriel continues to study with John Evans.

Please do not distribute this biography without Meriel's permission.

For up to date bio please contact Meriel.


"Cunningham is a shining star"


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