Dawn Burns




Belfast-born mezzo-soprano Dawn Burns is former NI Opera Studio artist. She is a past winner of the NI Opera Festival of Voice competition (main and audience prize) and a recipient of the BBC NI / ACNI Young Musicians’ Platform Award.

In November, Dawn was a soloist in Conor Mitchell’s critically acclaimed new work Abomination: A DUP Opera, with the Belfast Ensemble. Her engagements at NI Opera include Ida in Die Fledermaus, Théodorine in L’Île de Tulipatan, Clarina in La Cambiale di Matrimonio (Tinderbox Theatre and NI Opera), Dorabella in The School for Lovers, and ensemble in Sweeney Todd (Lyric Theatre Belfast and NI Opera). Dawn is a former Young Artist at Mid Wales Opera, covering the role of Mercedes in Carmen and more recently playing Ino in their production of Semele.  Her other roles include Nancy in Flotow’s Martha (Burry Port Opera), and Narciso in Handel’s Agrippina with Opera Collective Ireland.

Dawn has worked in the chorus at Irish National Opera (Aïda, Carmen), 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).

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.

Dawn is a graduate of the University of Bristol and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.


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

Abomination: A DUP Opera

"Rebecca Caine as Iris and Dawn Burns are outstanding"



March 2020

22, 24, 26, 28 March Chorus (Carmen) Irish National Opera Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin

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

08, 09, 31 August Theodorine (L'Ile de Tulipatan) Londonderry Arms Hotel, Carnlough

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
01,15 September Clarina (Hidden Extras / La Cambiale di Matrimonio) Culturlann, Londonderry

August 2018

01, 04 August Dorabella (The School for Lovers) Nerve Centre, Londonderry

July 2018

18 July Lunchtime recital Rosemary Street, Belfast

June 2018

03, 09, 16, 30 June Imagine! Portico Arts, Portaferry

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 Open 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, 14, 15 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

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