Kate Miller-Heidke

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Kate Miller-Heidke studied at the Queensland Conservatorium in her native Australia‚ where she performed in Venus and AdonisOrpheus and the Underworld‚ and The Pilgrim’s Progress. As an Opera Queensland Developing Artist she sang Flora The Turn of the Screw and covered the roles of Johanna Sweeney Todd and Norina Don Pasquale. Awards for Opera include the Elizabeth Muir Prize (2000)‚ the Donald Penman Prize (2001)‚ the Linda Edith Allen Memorial Prize (2002) and the Horace Keats Prize (2002).

Operatic engagements as a singer include British Dancing Girl The Death of Klinghoffer for the Metropolitan Opera‚ New York and for English National Opera‚ Baby Jane Jerry Springer the Opera for Opera Australia at the Sydney Opera House and Amber in the world premiere of Michel van der Aa’s Sunken Garden‚ also at ENO and the Holland Festival and Dallas Opera. More recently season Kate has been seen in her new opera The Rabbits at Perth International Arts Festival‚ repeated later in Melbourne and Sydney and another multi platform collaboration with Michel van der Aa‚ The Book of Sand which was seen at the Holland Festival. In 2015 Kate featured in The Divorce, a four-part ABC TV mini-series- the first truly operatic soap opera. Both The Rabbits and The Divorce were nominated for Best Soundtrack/Cast Recording at the 2016 ARIA Awards.

She has released 4 albums in Australia, achieving multi-platinum status and appearing in the top 10 album and singles charts numerous times. Her album O Vertigo! debuted at number 4 on the Australian album charts, broke Australian crowdfunding records and was nominated for an ARIA award. Her previous albums include Nightflight, which reached number 2 on the ARIA chart, and Curiouser, which reached double platinum sales in Australia and spawned the multi-platinum hits ‘Last Day On Earth’ and ‘Caught In The Crowd’. In 2009 she became the first Australian to win the grand prize in the International Songwriting Competition for ‘Caught in The Crowd. Kate has recently been selected to represent Australia in the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest in Israel, with her song Zero Gravity

Sunken Garden‚ Dallas Opera

Kate Miller-Heidke’s light‚ straight-tone mezzo‚ more folk singer-ish‚ fits the elusive Amber.

Dallas Morning News (March 2018)

Mezzo-soprano Kate Miller-Heidke took a turn at pop style in the work’s one memorable aria‚ “I Had These Dreams‚” and shifted easily and impressively to a more operatic voice.

Texas Classical Review (March 2018)

The Rabbits‚ Opera Australia at Perth Festival

John Sheedy has brought many talented artists together to develop The Rabbits –Kate Miller-Heidke composed the score and also performs. As the bird she stays high up above the clashes between the marsupials and the rabbits‚ singing in her own peculiar style that combines bush sounds with amazingly controlled operatic high trills‚ remaining detached until it becomes clear that she is also affected by the changes across the land

Australian Stage (February 2015)

The Rabbits brings together an extraordinary Australian creative team in this world premiere production. Award-winning vocalist Kate Miller-Heidke leads a cast of singers and musicians‚ performing her own compositions

Broadway World (February 2015)

Triumphant adaptation of a deeply tragic story. Kate Miller-Heidke‚ Lally Katz and John Sheedy’s operatic adaptation of the John Marsden/Shaun Tan picture book delivers a wallopingly emotional take on the realities of white settlement...the triumph of John Sheedy‚ Kate Miller-Heidke and Lally Katz’s adaption of The Rabbits into an opera is that is retains both the simplicity of Marsden’s story and the character of Tan’s “parallel” world...Miller-Heidke’s score is simply beautiful‚ embracing the influences of opera‚ operetta‚ music theatre and popular music as the singer/composer performs onstage as a bird and a witness to the unfolding tragedy

The Guardian (February 2015)

The Rabbits was composed by multi-talented Kate Miller-Heidke‚ who also sings the Bird...Musically‚ a solid vocal cast...Miller-Heidke sang in a pure accurate soprano‚ and‚ where she was singing words rather than abstracted bird song‚ with excellent diction...All the vocal ensemble singing was quite immaculate...The work was enthusiastically received on its opening night

Opera Britannia (February 2015)

Miller-Heidke’s eclectic musical ‘The Rabbits’ is a genre-hopping triumph. IN her program note‚ Kate Miller-Heidke explains how she and director John Sheedy conceived of The Rabbits as an eclectic fusion of opera‚ musical‚ song cycle‚ weird pop concert‚ puppet show and play. It certainly falls between standard genres. In theory‚ juxtaposing operatic and musical theatre voices‚ and taking stylistic leaps from pop to opera and Broadway with a dash of Gilbert and Sullivan and Kurt Weill‚ may seem a dangerous idea. Yet Miller-Heidke and collaborator Iain Grandage have blended these elements into a brilliant and cohesive musical sound-scape‚ bringing to life John Marsden and Shaun Tan’s book with humour‚ drama and expressive power. Rather than jarring the senses‚ the unexpected musical sidesteps are a delight and the score is sufficiently rich in detail to invite the listener back for repeat performances…A rocky edifice sits centre stage‚ a vantage point in the ochre landscape from where the exotically dressed Miller-Heidke‚ as the Bird‚ the all-seeing narrator‚ can observe the action…The cast for this world premiere was vocally and dramatically strong…Miller-Heidke is a charismatic‚ pure-voiced Bird and her closing rendition of ‘Where?’ is hauntingly beautiful…Regardless of how we may define The Rabbits‚ this short‚ powerful gem of a work tells an important story in a beautifully engaging way

The Australian (February 2015)

...the presiding spirit and narrator of the story‚ played by the work’s composer‚ Kate Miller-Heidke. Bird perches above the landscape and warbles the plaints of the natural world as the rabbits arrive‚ multiply‚ command and destroy. In the overture ‘Dawn Chorus’ Miller-Heidke’s trilling soprano is fashioned by sound designer Michael Waters into an ecstasy of birdcalls — bellbirds and whipbirds. It’s a magical opening to the show

The West Australian (February 2015)

The Death of Klinghoffer‚ The Metropolitan Opera NYC

In her Met debut‚ Kate Miller-Heidke sang with a chirpy soprano which was heard to delightful effect in the British Dancing Girl’s aria‚ a welcome change of mood

Opera Magazine (December 2014)

An interjection came in the form of a British dancing girl played by Kate Miller-Heidke. She sang mostly of frivolities and Omar‚ the youngest and perhaps most eligible of the hijackers‚ who provided a steady stream of lit cigarettes as she stood staring at the boat’s rivets from which she drew some hope and mental stability. Lighthearted music accompanied her naïve account of events. Ms. Miller Heidke’s voice‚ however‚ was one of the most unique and memorable of the evening. Her brilliant tone and shimmering sonorities were supported by incredible diction and dramatic flare. Her performance is a testament to great singers who make the most out of “small” roles

Opera World.es (November 2014)

Klinghoffer has its moments of necessary trivialization helping set tragedy in relief‚ from a British dancing girl (Kate Miller-Heidke) and an Austrian woman hiding in her cabin (Theodora Hanslowe) — and they were handled with excellent grace

Los Angeles Times (October 2014)

In the smaller roles‚ the standout was soprano Kate Miller-Heidke‚ making her Met debut as the shallow British Dancing Girl: although her accent was more New Yawk than British‚ she added a nice Blossom Dearie quality to the role

New York Classical Review (October 2014)

Kate Miller-Heidke (soprano) made a delicious thing of the tinkling aria of a member of the dancing troupe on board (“Omar kept us in ciggies”)

Parterre (October 2014)

Kate Miller-Heidke‚ as the perky British Dancing Girl‚ brightly offering her “witness” statement in a bubbly scherzo

Wall Street Journal (October 2014)

...the single lighter moment‚ the bouncy aria for the British dancing girl (Kate Miller-Heidke)

Washington Post (October 2014)

Sunken Garden‚ English National Opera

Kate Miller-Heidke‚ a classically trained Australian pop singer who delivered Amber’s music in lean‚ treble-like tones

Opera Magazine (May 2013)

...it was delivered with enormous passion from everyone involved...On screen‚ Jonathan McGovern and Kate Miller-Heidke were required to act as much as sing‚ and they did so convincingly

BachTrack (April 2013)

Two singers on film‚ Jonathan McGovern and Kate Miller-Heidke‚ were equally compelling...Ms. Miller-Heidke‚ a classically trained Australian pop star‚ was a luminous‚ mysterious Amber

New York Times (April 2013)

...while all the sung characters are what we would call ‘traditionally operatic’ (including first-class performances from all concerned‚ without exception)‚ the singing style for Amber‚ an attractive but damaged girl in her late teens‚ is almost pop-like‚ but with far better voice production and diction. Her voice is completely vibrato-free‚ and she inserts small‚ pop/folk-style grace notes leading up to notes every so often. It works well

Opera Britannia (April 2013)

The scenes where the live singers interacted with the filmed ones were very striking‚ and Kate Miller-Heidke‚ who has parallel careers in the pop and opera worlds‚ was very striking on film. The moment when she (on film) duetted with the live Williams was very striking

Planet Hugill (April 2013)

Claron McFadden‚ as Iris (Dr) Marinus‚ is simply exceptional in every way‚ her vocal powers seemingly endless; McFadden was matched from every angle by Kate Miller-Heidke‚ as Amber. Miller-Heidke is classically trained (Queensland Conservatory‚ Australia) but has also carved a career in alternative pop. This cross-culturalisation implies she is perfect for Sunken Garden‚ and so it is. She has the voice‚ and the looks‚ to do everything she possibly can with this role

Seen & Heard International (April 2013)

But the most beguiling musical moment of the evening belongs to Australian pop star Kate Miller-Heidke (playing Amber Jacquemain on film) with her first psychotic reveries‚ delivered with a mesmerising‚ if completely un-operatic‚ purity

The Big Issue (April 2013)

Musically‚ the work is performed to a high standard with fine singing on stage from Roderick Williams (Toby) and Katherine Manley (Zenna) and on film from Jonathan McGovern (Simon) and Kate Miller-Heidke (Amber)

Where’s Runnicles (April 2013)

Moreover‚ characters on film connect with the audience just as powerfully – if not more so – as those on stage. The beautifully pure soprano of Kate Miller-Heidke (Amber) is offset by her arresting presence and gaze‚ her haunting refrain echoing in my mind long after the music had ended

Younger Theatre (Younger Theatre)

Twilight Concert Series‚ Melbourne Zoo

Last night I had the privilege of experiencing Kate Miller-Heidke perform live. She was amazing‚ and sounded just as good as any of her recordings‚ if not even better somehow in the open air! The quirky queen delivered her colloquial pop songs with a dash of opera sprinkled throughout‚ with ample character and perfect pitch through the overcast night. Her distinctive voice cut through the cold evening air‚ and had her fans eagerly hanging on every word. Highlights of the evening included the popular hit‚ Can’t Shake It. The tune brought the crowd to life in replicating the dance moves from her video clip. Another stand-out moment was Caught in the Crowd‚ which has interestingly become a tool schools are using to explore schoolyard bullying. My only possible complaint about Miller-Heidke’s set was that she didn’t perform an hour longer!

TheatrePress.com.au (February 2013)

The Death of Klinghoffer‚ English National Opera

The singing was uniformly good...and there are fine cameos from Lucy Schaufer as the Swiss grandmother‚ Kathryn Harries as the very opinionated Austrian woman‚ and Kate Miller-Heidke as the ditzy British dancing girl

Classical Source (February 2012)

The one attempt to change gear with a lighter‚ almost comic song from an English dancing girl trapped on the ship‚ well performed by Kate Miller-Heidke

Express (February 2012)

All of the solo roles are taken memorably too...Kate Miller-Heidke as the British dancing girl

The Guardian (February 2012)

A top ensemble cast deserves high praise‚ among them...Kate Miller-Heidke’s sharp‚ ditsy British dancing girl

Observer on Sunday (February 2012)

Adams does include some charming moments‚ though – the song of the British Dancing Girl‚ “I must have been hysterical”‚ from the second act‚ here prettily delivered by Kate Miller-Heidke‚ is an example of how minimalism can imply a circus-like buffoonery

Seen & Heard International (February 2012)

Kate Miller-Heidke’s turn as the daffy British Dancing Girl provides some unlikely yet much-needed light relief

The Stage (February 2012)

Every production I have seen at ENO this season has been cast from strength‚ and The Death of Klinghoffer is no exception...Lucy Schaufer and Kate Miller-Heidke play two very different passengers on the ship and find more drama than most in their characters

What's on Stage (February 2012)

Shoes (World Première) Sadler’s Wells

The four singers interpret the lyrics delightfully though‚ especially Alison Jiear and Kate Miller-Heidke

BachTrack (September 2010)

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