Dr Morag Catriona Atchison

ARAM, DipRAM, PGDip(Opera), LRAM (Royal Academy of Music), BMus(Hons), DMA


Morag Atchison has firmly established herself as one of New Zealand’s leading sopranos. She studied at the University of Auckland and Royal Academy of Music (London), and was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier and Royal Over-Seas League Competitions. She has performed operatic roles including Berta, The Barber of Seville (NZ Opera) Helmwige, Die Walküre (NZSO); Lady-in-waiting, Verdi’s Macbeth; First Lady, Magic Flute (NBR NZ Opera); Fourth Maid, Strauss’ Elektra (APO); Blumenmädchen, Parsifal (NZSO) and Sandrina, La Finta Giardiniera (Opera Unleashed, Hamilton Festival). Morag’s concert engagements include performances of Britten's War Requiem (CSO); a recital with the Toronto Children’s Chorus; Mozart Requiem and Mozart’s arrangement of Handel’s Messiah (Voices NZ and Wellington Sinfonia); Tippett’s A Child of our Time with the NZ Youth Choir and NZSO National Youth Orchestra; and Beethoven’s Ah! perfido (APO and Manukau Symphony). Morag was a soloist on the soundtrack for the major motion-picture Mortal Engines (2018).

Morag is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, is a vocal tutor for the NZ Youth Choir, the University of Auckland Chamber Choir and for over a decade worked with the award-winning Choralation from Westlake Girls’ and Boys’ High Schools. In 2013 Morag was awarded a doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Auckland, the first DMA in vocal studies from a New Zealand University and in 2019 was elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM).

Research | Current

Morag's field of research combines performance with pedagogy and, more recently, educational theory, particularly focussing on the development of the ensemble singer in the context of solo and choral training.

Teaching | Current

Morag teaches classical vocal performance at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and has supervised a number of Masters level students in research projects connected to their past or current performance studies. She also teaches classes for conducting, musician's health, composition, historical performance, and within the choral programme.

Postgraduate supervision

Current Supervision

  • Caro Manins, DMA: performance supervisor
  • Alexandra Francis, MMus: Vocal Performance [co-supervision with Dr Te Oti Rakena]
  • Maeve Herd, MMus: vocal performance supervisor
  • Joy Lee, MMus: [co-supervision with Gregory Camp] 

Past Supervision

  • Zoe Cui, BMus(Hons): Vocal Performance (2020
  • Lucia Gao, BMus(Hons): Vocal Performance [co-supervision with Catrin Johnsson] (2020)
  • Sophie Lamb, BMus(Hons): Vocal Performance (2020)
  • Joy Lee, BMus(Hons): Vocal Performance (2020)
  • Christina McDonald, BMus(Hons): Vocal Performance [co-supervision with Catrin Johnsson] (2019)
  • Ella Ewen, BMus(Hons): Vocal Performance (2019)
  • Amy Chang, MMus: An Orchestra Between Two Hands - Playing Orchestral Reductions on the Pianoforte [co-supervision with Gregory Camp and Rachel Fuller] (2018)
  • Clare Hood, MMus: Examining and Deconstructing Cultural Ideologies Surrounding Gender in Classical Vocal Performance [co-supervision with Gregory Camp and Te Oti Rakena] (2018)
  • Lauren White, MMus: Opera in the Cinema [co-supervision with Gregory Camp] (2018)
  • Fiona Tibbles, MMus: The seven ages of the soprano [co-supervision with Allan Badley] (2017)
  • Leila Alexander, BMus(Hons): Vocal Performance (2017)
  • Leila Alexander, BMus(Hons) Dissertation: Alexander Technique and Opera [co-supervision with Elizabeth Holowell (2017)
  • Keani Pora, BMus(Hons): Vocal Performance (2019)
  • Kayla Collingwood, MMus: Translating Opera and Art Song [co-supervision with Gregory Camp] (2016)
  • Amy Chang, BMus(Hons) Special Topic:The Songs of Purcell (2016)



2019 - Elected as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London (ARAM). This honour is given to former students who have distinguished themselves in the music profession and made a significant contribution to it in their particular field


  • Director of Undergraduate Studies 2019-
  • Convenor of Classical Performance 2017-2019

Areas of expertise

  • Vocal Pedagogy
  • Choral Pedagagy (voice specialist)
  • Language Tuition

Committees/Professional groups/Services


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Atchison, M. C. Bach Musica NZ: Vivaldi, Bach, Dvořák & Wagner, 1/12/2019. [Performance], (20 mins), Bach Musica NZ: Vivaldi, Bach, Dvořák & Wagner, Auckland Town Hall. Commissioning body: Creative NZ, The Wallace Foundation Related URL.
  • Atchison, M. C. Berta - Barber of Seville, Rossini, NZ Opera, 2019 Season, 6/6/2019. [Operatic Performance], (2hours 45mins), Barber of Seville, NZ Opera, Aotea Centre, Auckland, New Zealand. Commissioning body: Creative New Zealand Related URL.
  • Atchison, M. C. Dance and Sing, 17/3/2018. [Performance], (180mins), Dance and Sing: Manukau Symphony Orchestra SEASON 2018 25th Anniversary Year, Vodafone Events Centre Manukau. Commissioning body: Creative New Zealand
  • Atchison, M. C. Sweet Chance, 2/3/2017. [Recital], (90mins), Christopher’s Classics – Sweet Chance, The Piano, Christchurch. Commissioning body: Christopher Marshall Related URL.
  • O'Sullivan V, Harris, R., Horo, H., & Grylls, K. L. Requiem for the fallen, 1/1/2017. [Audio CD], (44.29), , New Zealand. Commissioning body: Creative New Zealand
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/39443
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Karen Grylls
  • Atchison, M. C., & Paczian, R. Verdi Requiem with Bach Musica and the Hamilton Civic Choir, 8/10/2016. [Live performance], (1:30), Bach Musica presents the Verdi Requiem, St Paul's Collegiate Hamilton and Auckalnd Town Hall. Commissioning body: Bach Musica Related URL.
  • Atchison, M. Sweet Chance: music for soprano, mezzo soprano and piano, 3/10/2016. [Live Performance], (90mins), Chamber Music New Zealand: Encompass Regional Concerts, Old Library, Whangarei, New Zealand. Commissioning body: Chamber Music New Zealand Related URL.
  • Grodd, U. A., & Atchison, M. English Fantasy : from Tallis to Rutter conducted by Uwe Grodd, 1/6/2016. [Concert], (90 minutes), English Fantasy - Auckland Choral and Pipers Sinfonia at St Matthew-in-the-City, St Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland, New Zealand. Commissioning body: Auckland Choral Related URL.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Uwe Grodd

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 1, Room 102
New Zealand