Dawn Burns




Northern Irish mezzo-soprano Dawn Burns is a former NI Opera Studio Artist. She is a past winner of the NI Opera Festival of Voice competition and a recipient of the BBC NI / ACNI Young Musicians’ Platform Award. Dawn trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she was supported by the Leverhulme Trust.  She graduated with a Distinction from the MA Opera course, studying with Suzanne Murphy and Kathryn Harries.

Future opera engagements include Ida in Die Fledermaus for NI Opera in the Autumn. Recent roles include Theodorine L’Île de Tulipatan (NI Opera), Clarina in La Cambiale di Matrimonio (Tinderbox Theatre and NI Opera), Dorabella in The School for Lovers (NI Opera), and ensemble in Sweeney Todd (Lyric Theatre Belfast and NI Opera). Dawn is a former Young Artist at Mid Wales Opera, and performed the role of Ino in their production of Semele and covered Mercedes in Carmen.  She played the role of Nancy in Burry Port Opera’s Martha, and Narciso in Handel’s Agrippina with Opera Collective Ireland. 

Dawn has worked in the chorus at Irish National Opera (Aïda), the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company (The Mikado, HMS Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, Princess Ida), Scottish Opera (The Mikado), Grange Park Opera (Peter Grimes, The Queen of Spades), Opera Holland Park (Aïda, Lakmé, L’amore dei tre Re) and NI Opera (The Flying DutchmanL’Elisir D’Amore, Turandot). Her other roles include Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Minskwoman (Flight), Ida (Die Fledermaus), Dido (Dido and Aeneas).

Dawn’s concert highlights include performances with the Ulster Orchestra, BBC Proms and the National Chorus of Wales. Her radio appearances include BBC Radio 3 In Tune, BBC Radio Ulster Classical Connections and The Arts Show.


Alongside her work as a performer, Dawn teaches singing in Belfast. If you’re interested in chatting about lessons, please do get in touch.

"In a strong cast... mezzo Dawn Burns as Minskwoman stood out for me as a young singer to watch"

Wales Arts Review


November 2019

7 - 10 November Abomination - a DUP opera (The Belfast Ensemble) Lyric Theatre, Belfast

September 2019

20 September Culture Night - opera performance Sweet Afton Hotel, Belfast
15 - 21 September Ida (Die Fledermaus) NI Opera Grand Opera House, Belfast

August 2019

31 August Theodorine (L'Ile de Tulipatan) Londonderry Arms Hotel, Carnlough
9 August Theodorine (L'Ile de Tulipatan) Nerve Centre, Derry / Londonderry
8 August Theodorine (L'Ile de Tulipatan) Black Box, Belfast

July 2019

20 July The Open Golf Tournament (with NI opera in concert) Portrush

June 2019

07 June Mendelssohn's Elijah Ulster Hall, Belfast

March 2019

15 March Chorus (Tosca) Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

February 2019

6 - 23 February Ensemble (Sweeney Todd) Lyric Theatre, Belfast

December 2018

1 December Chorus (Aïda) Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin

November 2018

24, 27, 29 November Chorus (Aïda) Bord Gáis Energy Theatre

October 2018

26 October Clarina (Hidden Extras / La Cambiale di Matrimonio) Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
20 October Various roles (Waking Beauty - new composition) Island Arts Centre, Lisburn

September 2018

21 September Pop-Up Opera - Culture Night Belfast
15 September Clarina (Hidden Extras / La Cambiale di Matrimonio) Culturlann, Londonderry
01 September Clarina (Hidden Extras / La Cambiale di Matrimonio) Londonderry Arms Hotel, Glenarm, 3pm

August 2018

04 August Dorabella (The School for Lovers) Nerve Centre, Londonderry
01 August Dorabella (The School for Lovers) Balmoral Hotel Ballroom, Belfast

July 2018

18 July Lunchtime recital Rosemary Street, Belfast

June 2018

30 June Imagine! Portico Arts, Portaferry
16 June Imagine! Marketplace Theatre, Armagh
09 June Imagine! Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
03 June Imagine! Playhouse, Londonderry

May 2018

27 May Pamplemousse (The Chronic Identity Crisis of Pamplemousse) Ulster Museum, Belfast

April 2018

28 April Handel Messiah - Slough Philharmonic St Bernard's Langley
14 April Mozart Requiem Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff

March 2018

30 March Stanford Requiem (Tenebrae service) The Portico of Ards, Portaferry
10 March Little Lullabies NI Opera, Belfast

February 2018

3 February Masterclass with Sir Thomas Allen The Portico of Ards, Portaferry

January 2018

10 January Out to Lunch Festival - NI Opera Studio Artists Black Box, Belfast, 1:00pm


11 December Midnight Vanities - an evening of songs from the Jazz Age and the Threepenny Opera Lyric Theatre, Belfast
13 December NI Opera Studio Artists - Christmas Concert Rosemary Street Church, Belfast, 1:15pm
14 December Midnight Vanities - an evening of songs from the Jazz Age and the Threepenny Opera Supper Club, Newry
15 December Midnight Vanities - an evening of songs from the Jazz Age and the Threepenny Opera Nerve Centre, Londonderry

November 2017

27 November Noël, Noël! Princes Theatre, Clacton-on-Sea

October 2017

11 October Newry Chamber Music Recital Sean Hollywood Arts Centre
25, 27 & 28 October Nancy (Martha) - Burry Port Opera Burry Port

June 2017

14 June Britten Canticles - Cardiff Singer of the World fringe event Dora Stoutzker Hall, Cardiff