The noted Australian mezzo-soprano, Yvonne Minton, began her studies with Marjorie Walker in Sysney. At the age of eighteen she won the Elsa Stralia Scholarship for three years studying at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she qualified in diplomas for theoretical subjects as well as singing. She won many competitions culminating in the Australian National Eisteddfod in Canberra, which is open to singers from all over Australia and New Zealand. She appeared frequently with the Australian Broadcasting Commission both on the radio and television, as well as appearing as soloist with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. When she left Australia in 1961, she was one of the country’s leading contraltos.
Yvonne Minton pursued her studies in London with Henry Cummings and Joan Cross in London, and September 1961 she sang at the International Vocalist Competition at s’Hertogenbosch in Holland and won the Kathleen Ferrier Prize for the best contralto.
Yvonne Minton's first major part in England was that of Maggie Dempster in the world premiere of Nicholas Maw’s One Man Show. She has twice appeared at the St. Pancras Arts Festival and has appeared as guest artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where she became a member of the company. In 1965 she appeared in the BBC Television production of Gianni Schicci with Tito Gobbi, and also at the Glyndebourne BBC Television performance of Dido and Aeneas. In December 1965 she had a great personal triumph in the revival of Boris Godunov with Boris Christoff, and she received excellent press notices.
Yvonne Minton had made many notable concert appearances in England including performances at the BBC Promenade concerts and the Commonwealth Arts Festival. She also appeared at the English Bach Festival at oxford in July 1966 and at the 1966 Edinburgh International Festival. In 1967-1968 she sang Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at Covent Garden. She very soon became a regular guest at Covent Garden, where she excelled in many parts such as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Sextus in La Clemenza di Tito, Didon in Les Troyens, Kundry and Fricka in The Ring and Brangäene in Tristan und Isolde. During the 1967-1968 season she had concerts with the English Chamber Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, New Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra. She sang the part of Sextus in La Clemenza di Tito at the Cologne Opera, and also appeared in Gluck’s Orpheus in new production under Georg Solti.
Since then, Yvonne Minton has appeared on major international stages, such as the Festivals of Bayreuth and Salzbourg, the Metropolitan Opera House in New-York (where she made her debut in 1972, in Octavian) and the Chicago Opera House. She had a privileged relationship for several years with the Cologne Opera House (where she was heard in particular in Sextus and Orphéo) and with the Paris Opera House where she appeared regularly, particularly for the first full production of Lulu, conducted by Pierre Boulez, and recorded by Deutsche Grammophon.
In 1991, Yvonne Minton attracted great attention when she made her debut in Australia, in the part of Clytemnestre, in a new production of Elektra.
Yvonne Minton has sung Fricka, in Die Walküre, in Lisbon, Kundry in Parsifal, in Berne, Mahagonny at the Musical May in Florence, Pelléas and Mélisande in Covent Garden, conducted by Claudio Abbado, and at the Chicago Opera House, Cadillac by Hindeminth, in concert in Paris. In November 1993, she was extremely successful both with the audience and the critics, as Kabanicha in Katya Kabanova, when she made her debut at the Bastille Opera House. She also took part in the inauguration of the Glyndebourne Theatre, in a new production of Eugene Onegin. In the autumn of 1994, she played the part of Ortrud, in Lohengrin, at the Nancy Opera House and the Rhin Opera House, in Strasbourg.
Yvonne Minton has been also heard in Mathis der Marler by Hindeminth, in Covent Garden, as the First Prioress, in Dialogues de Carmélites at the Nantes Opera House and in Pelléas and Mélisande at the Amsterdam Opera House.
In addition to her stage career, Yvonne Minton has regularly performed in concert, with some of the most prestigious conductors, such as Georg Solti, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Claudio Abbado and Colin Davis. She is also an accomplished recitalist performing in Hamburg, Paris and Geneva and many other European cities.
Yvonne Minton's substantial discography includes Parsifal and Das Rheingold by Wagner, Der Rosenkavalier by Strauss, La Clemenza di Tito by W.A. Mozart, La Damnation de Faust and Béatrice et Bénédict by Berlioz, Lulu by Alban Berg, Le Marteau sans Maître by Pierre Boulez, Verdi's Requiem, Das Lied von der Erde, Les Nuits d'Eté by Berlioz, Pierrot Lunaire and Gurre-lieder by Arnold Schoenberg Sea Pictures and Dream of Gerontius by Edward Elgar.