Lexus Song Quest: Meet Chelsea Dolman

25 June 2018

Beer brewing soprano Chelsea Dolman is one of ten Lexus Song Quest Semi-Finalists. Follow the journey of these elite young opera talents as they compete for New Zealand’s most prestigious singing accolade and a share of $90,000 in prizes.

Be there for the thrilling Lexus Song Quest Grand Final Gala on 28 July at the Auckland Town Hall. Tickets are on sale now at

Chelsea Dolman is a beer brewing soprano originally from Taupō, and while her day job is working in the finance department of Hamilton City Council’s H3 she maintains her opera passion by travelling to Auckland to study with Catrin Johnsson.

Chelsea holds a MMus in Performance Voice (University of Waikato) and was a 2014/15 Dame Malvina Major Emerging Artist with New Zealand Opera. She completed her studies with Dame Malvina Major in 2015 and was the recipient of the Dame Sister Mary Leo Scholarship awarded to the ‘Most Outstanding Student’ at the 2015 New Zealand Opera School. Currently she is proudly a 2018 Freemasons New Zealand Opera Artist.

"In my down time I really enjoy helping out in my partner’s brewery. I currently have a Baltic Porter finishing off, just in time for winter."


"I think craft beer and opera are such a great match – each relies on a balance of technique and passion, and an element of personal taste too. It helps that the brewery also has really great acoustics!"

For the Semi-Finals Chelsea will be singing repertoire by Puccini, Rachmaninoff and Bolcom: “I’ve recently been exploring some slightly different repertoire – Russian and Swedish art song particularly (a change from the standard German and French repertoire) – I’m really enjoying the juicy romantic aspects of the styles,” says Chelsea.

"Getting into the Lexus Song Quest Semi-Finals has been a major goal of mine for a while."


"This was my third audition and I feel very lucky to have been chosen to perform in this premiere New Zealand event – the timing feels right and I’m so excited work with Lisa Gaasten, alongside some really great friends!"

From here the ten Semi-Finalists perform live at one of two invitation-only Semi-Final concerts on 21 & 22 July in Wellington, where Head Judge Lisa Gasteen will select the five Finalists who will go on to perform with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the Lexus Song Quest Grand Final Gala, on 28 July at the Auckland Town Hall. Tickets are on sale now at

Who will win?

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