Headshot of Cleo Lee-McGowan

Cleo Lee-McGowan


Cleo completed her studies in the prestigious Opera School at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2022. She played the title roles in Pauline Viardot’s Cendrillon and Judith Weir’s Miss Fortune. She also sang the roles of Ilia (Idomeneo), Governess (The Turn of the Screw), Romilda (Serse), Mélisande (Pelléas et Mélisande), Poppea (L’Incoranazione di Poppea), Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier), Madame Silberklang (Der Schauspieldirektor) and Adina (L’Elisir d’Amore) in Opera Scenes. She holds a Bachelor of Music with First Class Honours from the University of Melbourne, where she was the recipient of a number of scholarships. Cleo was the recipient of the Joseph Sambrook Opera Scholarship through Melba Opera Trust from 2017 to 2019.

In 2019, Cleo won the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship, and competed as a finalist in the JSRB Bel Canto Award where she was the recipient of the Sanderson Award and Hawaii Performing Arts Prize. In 2018, Cleo was a finalist in the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition and was the recipient of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama Award, Pasqualina Lipari Prize, Sydney Symphony Orchestra Award, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs Prize and Audience Prize. Cleo has been generously supported by Help Musicians, the Australian Music Foundation, the Tait Memorial Trust and Joan Sutherland & Richard Bonynge Foundation Bel Canto Awards.

Highlights: Gretel in Hansel and Gretel (Victorian Opera); Susanna (cover) and First Bridesmaid in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Glyndebourne Festival); Mélisande from Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (London City Orchestra’s Opera Gala); Niece 2 in Peter Grimes (Sydney Symphony Orchestra).

Last updated: 26th July 2023