British Australian mezzo-soprano Indyana Schneider was recently described in Opera Magazine as 'a fabulous young mezzo, the voice full of crimson depth and character'.
Indyana Schneider is an Australian mezzo soprano currently living between the UK and Germany. She first fell in love with opera on the stage of the Sydney Opera House in the children’s chorus of La Bohéme and Werther. At 17 years old, she won the Opera Aria prize at the Sydney Eisteddfod and was a finalist in the Dame Joan Sutherland Memorial Vocal Scholarship. Indyana then returned to the Sydney Opera House stage as a soloist at 18 years old after topping the Higher School Certificate in extension music (musicology, performance, and composition), where she performed in the esteemed ‘ENCORE’ concert.
Indyana followed her love of opera to the UK and completed a Bachelor of Music at Magdalen College, Oxford University. Her studies centered around singing, as well as musicology, analysis, and psychological perspectives on performance. Her undergraduate thesis focused on new spaces for opera in the 21st century, examining barriers to access and the economic models of UK-based opera companies.
Whilst at Oxford Indyana performed in operas and musicals ranging from Dido and Aeneas and The Faery Queen to Phantom of the Opera and Anything Goes. A highlight included playing the role of Feste in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by Shakespeare Scholar Sir Jonathan Bate and Georgia Figgis, for which she also composed the music. Indyana’s performance was praised by BAFTA-Award winning Peter Kosminsky:
“For me, the standout performance was that of Indyana Schneider – a gloriously accomplished Feste. Her detached amusement at the increasingly ludicrous events playing out before her perfectly mirrored our own. Rarely can such a gifted singer have donned the mantel of Olivia’s fool, adding a glorious extra dimension to the characterisation.”
She studied her MA (Oper) at the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover, Germany, with Marina Sandel and Anne Champert. During her studies, Indyana sang in masterclasses with: Katie Mitchell, Dame Emma Kirkby, Andreas Scholl, Steven Langridge, James Conlon, and Jonathan Swinard.
After graduating, Indyana began her professional career singing the title role in Carmen with Kentish Opera in 2018. This was followed by a series of Early-Music roles with New Chamber Opera, working closely with Michael Burden and Steven Devine. For her roles in Haydn’s Il Mondo della Luna and Händel’s Il Pastor Fidel, she was praised in Opera Magazine:
"A fabulous young mezzo, the voice full of crimson depth and character" (Il Mondo della Luna).
“The best of the singing came from Indyana Schneider with a clear creamy voice and lively expressive acting” (Il Pastor Fidel).
In 2019, Indyana moved to Vienna to join the Wiener Staatsoper Akademie, where she studied with Sylvia Greenberg and David Aronson. Highlights at the Wiener Staatsoper included singing Cashier in Olga Neuwirth’s new opera, Orlando, and with the Semichor in Händel’s Ariodante, conducted by Christophe Rousset with Les Talens Lyriques.
During the pandemic, Indyana was scheduled to return to the Sydney Opera House to perform La Muse and cover Nicklausse in Les Contes D’Hoffmann, conducted by Carlo Montanaro. Sadly, performances were cancelled just weeks before the opening night. More recently, she sang Carmen in Kent Chamber Opera’s UK-tour; Mercedes in Theater für Niedersachsen’s new production of Carmen; and Meg Page in HMTM's Falstaff.
Indyana maintains a busy concert and oratorio schedule alongside operatic singing, with repertoire including Verdi's Requiem, Bach's Johannes-Passion, Matthäus-Passion, and Weihnachtsoratoriumm, Händel's Messiah, Elgar's Sea Pictures, and Berlioz's Les Nuits d’été.
She loves performing Lieder in a duo with Clara Hyerim Byun.
Future engagements include the role of Zita in the European Opera Centre's production of Gianni Schicchi, directed by Bernard Rozet and conducted by Domingo Hindoyan with Sir Bryn Terfel in the title role. Later this summer, she will cover the Composer (Komponist) in Garsington Opera’s 2023 production of Ariadne auf Naxos. In September, Indyana will move to Zürich to join the International Opernstudio of the Opernhaus Zürich.
She is forever indebted to her teachers: Helene Dahlberg, Nuccia Focile, Sylvia Greenberg, Anne Champert, and Marina Sandel.
PS - Off of the stage, Indyana loves studying languages and enjoys practicing karate and salsa dancing. She also reads a lot and sometimes writes books.