Artist of the Week: Natalya Romaniw

Welsh Soprano Returns to Houston Grand Opera for ‘Dialogues of the Carmelites’

By Francisco Salazar

Natalya Romaniw is considered one of Europe’s most promising stars. In the past few years, her profile has risen with many considering her the soprano of her “Generation” and going as far as to consider her the “British Anna Netrebko.” Now after making a name for herself in the U.K., the soprano is returning to Houston Grand Opera, where she started her career as a young artist.

After Romaniw graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she joined the Houston Grand Opera Studio and remained with the company from 2012 to 2014. As a studio artist, she debuted roles such as Mimi in Puccini’s “La Bohème,” Rosalinde in “Die Fledermaus,” Micaëla in Bizet’s “Carmen,” and Krystina in Weinburg’s “The Passenger.” She would return once more as a guest artist in the role of Ortlinde in Wagner’s “Die Walküre.” Now Romaniw returns to what she calls her “Texas Family” and also brings added star power. Romaniw will sing the lead role of Blanche in Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites,” a work she calls “intense” and which she performed at the Guildhall School of Music ten years ago as a student. This will mark her first professional production of the work.

A winner of the Loveday Song Prize, the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition, and a finalist for the Song Prize in Cardiff Singer of the World 2009, the soprano has performed at the English National Opera, Garsington Opera, Scottish Opera, Welsh National Opera, and Grange Park Opera. She was also featured in the Met Opera Live concert with Bryn Terfel. Her repertoire also includes music by Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Smetana, and Bizet, among others.

After many cancellations due to COVID, this season looks to be another banner year for Romaniw. She started it at the English National Opera performing “Tosca” and is set to make her house debut at the Opéra de Rouen in “Jenůfa.” She will also return to the Garsington Opera for a production of “Rusalka.” Looking ahead to the 2022-23 season, the soprano will make her highly anticipated Royal Opera House debut, which should continue to raise her profile.


For those not familiar with the soprano’s voice, Romaniw recently release her first album, “Arion: Voyage of a Slavic Soul,” with pianist Lada Valešová. You can read more about the album in our interview with the soprano here.

Romaniw can also be heard in the English National Opera’s drive-in “La Boheme” and the Grange Park Opera Opera’s “Falstaff” which was recorded this past summer and also stars Bryn Terfel.

Here she is in Falstaff:

Here is a clip from her performance of “The Bartered Bride:”

Finally, here she is talking about the role of Blanche: