Yulia MacLean
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Yulia MacLean


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"Yulia is that rare international phenomenon; a truly individual voice. Add to that lashings of Russian soul, liberal quantities of musicianship and you have a singer who transcends classification. Enjoy!"

Carl Doy (June 2008)
Top New Zealand Music Producer


"Yulia you have an amazing voice and it was great to work with you on my final tour of NZ with Amici Forever. Congratualtions on all you have achieved and all of your plans for the future – keep making a difference in the world and inspiring others."

Geoff Sewell (June 2008)

with Sharon Elizabeth & Elizabeth Marvelly

“Yulia’s performance was, without doubt, exceptional. She had the crowd laughing and clapping, and at times, quiet and mesmerised. She worked beautifully with the other two performers and it was truly a day enjoyed by all.”

Craig Wilson (April 2008)


"Rarely in the music community does an artist surface with the talent, grace and sensitivity of Yulia - the pride of New Zealand. Yulia is a world-class artist with a voice to match that will stop you in your tracks.”

“Whether she is singing a moving ballad or a simple folk-song there is control and conviction in her singing far beyond her years....I will have the honor of working with her on her next project and I am truly excited about the anticipated outcome."

David Kershenbaum
Oct. 2008
Top 40 USA Music Producer



“Yulia has a distinctive voice, its strong and rich and still has a tonal pureness that I find appealing. Yulia is a great talent with an incredible voice.”

Paul Feenstra
May 2008
Audio Post - Hollywood
Terravista Media
Hollywood, USA


I am immensely impressed. It is a lovely voice, of good, strong quality right through its range. The tone is absolutely steady, her sense of pitch is excellent, and – what I particularly like – she never for a moment forces and there’s not a trace of the ‘caterwauling’ which for me mars the singing of nearly all pop artists nowadays. Her approach is intelligent and thoughtful, and both discs, as a result, are most pleasing. To my mind she leaves Hayley Westenra for dead!

Jeremy Commons
World leading authority
19th Century Italian Opera - Various

"ALBUM REVIEW - Into the West"

Debut album from the extraordinary Russian born singer Yulia Townsend. Moving to New Zealand to live, this remarkable 19 year old has made short work in beginning what looks to be an astonishing career. In two years Yulia has learned to speak English, passed all of her senior high school exams at Cashmere High School and signed a recording deal with Sony Music New Zealand. 2004 - AMAZON.COM (Editor)



"Yulia at the JAMES HAY THEATRE. 2004, Tuesday, December 7 at 8pm. Reviewed by Timothy Jones of Christchurch Press, Christchurch, New Zealand.


In the 2003 Cashmere High School production of Oliver, the minor role of Bet was delivered not with a conventional Cockney twang but with rather curious, and gorgeously exotic Russian vowels by a student who could clearly sing better than the rest of the cast put together.

This was, of course, Yulia Townsend, which technically makes last night's concert her second appearance in Christchurch.

Although I would certainly query some of her song selection and, even more certainly, the cloying patter between items, her voice, now as then, really is superb.

It has a distinctive colour and real substance that seem hardly credible in an 18-year-old.

Words come with great expression, but without strain, from a fruity bottom register right through to pure and sparkling top notes. Highlights included Angel, If You Go Away and two Russian songs sung ardently in Russian.
I was not so sure about the trip to Scarborough Fair.

Her youth was evident in the links between songs, which desperately needed more pace.

I suppose credit is due for ingenuously saying whatever came into her head, but it was the singing we had come to hear, not her thoughts on world peace.

Yulia Townsend was sensitively backed by bass, drums, keyboards, reeds and an all-Russian string quartet which allowed for appropriately lush arrangements but which never threatened to overwhelm her.

Singer Will Martin and violinist Ben Morrison were the unlikely warm-up-men and both were first class.

To talk about a bright future for Yulia Townsend is surely to state the obvious. - Christchurch Press, New Zealand

"Yulia hot at music awards"

FRONT PAGE: CHRISTCHURCH PRESS, NEW ZEALAND with photo titled "Sensation: Yulia Townsend at last night's New Zealand Music Awards"


Christchurch singing sensation Yulia Townsend has won two of New Zealand's top music awards only three years after leaving Russia as a school girl.

At the New Zealand Music Awards in Auckland last night Yulia won awards for best female solo artist and for biggest selling album.

Yulia 19, came to New Zealand from Russia three years ago and became a citizen at a Christchurch ceremony last month.

The teenage singer's debut album Into the West, released last year, sold platinum four times over.

After she arrived in New Zealand, she spent two years at high school mastering English and passing her senior exams.

She sang and played the bass guitar in a rock band while she was at Cashmere High School.
(continued... page A2) - Christchurch Press, New Zealand

"Album Reviews 2008"

INTO THE WEST and MONTAGE album reviews by:



(22 October 2008) Russian-born New Zealand classical crossover singer Yulia released her second album in 2006 entitled Montage (Sony BMG Music Entertainment (New Zealand) 200482876823752, 2006).

Her debut album released in 2004 is called Into The West (Columbia (New Zealand) 5187582000, 2004 ). This gifted twenty-two year old has a lovely contralto voice that has wonderful maturity and dulcit tones. She has only learned the English language in 2002 so there is a distinct Russian accent in the delivery of her lyrics although unobtrusive. Yulia sings fluently in six languages; English, Russian, French, Italian, Spanish and Maori. Sadly both of Yulia's albums were deleted by Sony BMG New Zealand, however, the artist's management is seeking to reissue them as soon as a deal with their former label can be established.

Born in Volgograd, Russia in 1986, Yulia moved to New Zealand in 2002 and quickly adapted to life in her new country. She graduated from high school and immediately signed a recording deal with Sony Music New Zealand. Gray Bartlett, co-director and owner of the Auckland-based promotion company Pacific Entertainment Limited, signed her to a six year worldwide sole agency deal but was ended early by Yulia and she was managed temporarily by Michael Glading, the previous head of Sony NZ. In 2007 Yulia met Glyn MacLean, 17 years her senior, director and owner of Oikos Music Group and signed to a management and music publishing deal. In February 2008, Yulia married Glyn.

Into The West. Her first album, Into The West, was released in 2004 to much acclaim. She was awarded New Zealand’s "Best Female Vocalist" at the 2005 New Zealand Music Awards (Pop, Folk, Classical). Montage displays her wonderful versatility in the various music genres. She easily flows from classical to pop to folk music without a hitch. Yulia is currently writing songs for her third album and an inspirational book. She aims to follow up on the commercial success of her first two albums with the release of her third album and her first book for either Christmas 2008 or Mothers Day 2009.

Into The West is a stunning debut album which combines her favorite genres of pop, classical and folk music. The opening track "Into the West" features Yulia's gorgeous, soaring vocals that elate the senses. She has a soulful depth to her music that is spectacular. A standout track is the delightly "Scarborough Fair" which brings to mind a sense of the renaissance era. She exudes clarity of sound in this inspiring track. "Angel," a cover from Sarah McLachlan, is performed simply and beautifully, putting Yulia's own touch on this lovely song. "The Prayer" opens with wonderful orchestration and segues into the tender and striking operatic aria that she performs so stunningly.

"L'Hymne A L'Amour" is a lovely track that could be part of a Broadway production. She flip-flops back and forth between languages with wonderful ease. She follows up with a traditional New Zealand lamentation in the Maori language called "Hoki Hoki Tonu Mai." She sings this powerful tune with grace and dignity in describing the lament of young Maori women whose husbands and lovers were lost in battle during World War I.

Yulia can be likened to Hayley Westenra especially in "Softly Whispering I Love You." These two young singers have a wonderful grace and exquisite tone which must be a special import from New Zealand these days. Yulia has a more pop sound in "I Go To Sleep" and the musical accompaniment appeals in a whimsical way. The famed Jacques Brel tune, "If You Go Away," is performed with a breathy and whispered tenderness. There is an almost yearning to the beginning of this song, and then Yulia breaks out with gorgeous, simple vocals that are quite poignant.

Another lovely tune is "One Day I'll Fly Away." Yulia creates a dreamy atmosphere with her precise and delightful melody. The song ascends to the clouds and then to the heavens with her beautiful sound. Handel's more popularly known "Largo" is performed here as "Ombra Mai Fu." Her rendition of this famous aria is quite majestic and the tempo is more upbeat than Handel's original. She certainly does this song justice in her version.

Of course Yulia goes back to her roots with her native tongue in "Russia." Her rich contralto makes this track a highlight of the album. She sings with passion and conviction. Yulia follows this song with "Bailero" which Sarah Brightman has performed on Eden and Classics. Yulia puts her own spin on this traditional piece from the Songs of the Auvergne. She sings with beautiful simplicity. She closes out this marvelous CD with the traditional Russian song "Otchi Tchornia (Black Eyes)" that Liberace was well known for performing. The lyrics mean "Eyes of ecstacy, Always haunting me, Always taunting me, With your mystery, Tell me tenderly, You belong to me, For eternity, Dark eyes, talk to me." One certainly gets the impression of haunting and taunting in this final track, and Yulia executes this song with great aplomb. The music enraptures the listener into imagining they are on the banks of the Volga being serenaded by their Russian comrades.

Yulia does not fail to please with Into The West. Hints of Hayley Westenra and Sarah Brightman come into play, but Yulia has a terrific contralto voice that is exquisite. In 2005, Yulia was awarded "Best Female Vocalist" and "Highest Selling Album of the Year" for Into The West in New Zealand. Those accolades are well deserved.

Montage. Yulia's second album Montage is an appropriate description of this diverse fourteen track album. She opens with the lush "We're All Alone." Her lilting, rich tones in conjunction with the lovely orchestral accompaniment highlights the special draw of this musical artist. She exhibits a compassionate quality in her vocals. "No One Like You," reminiscent of Sarah Brightman's version, has a majestic air to it, with Yulia's gorgeous, soaring vocals. There is a gentleness to her singing, but then again, she can belt out her tunes with the best of them. Pop tune "Maybe" showcases her more contemporary side.

"You Are Here" opens with a soothing piano intro, and Yulia takes over with her luxuriant voice. The end result is a song filled with passion and power driven vocals. She continues with this passionate ardor in "Everything You Touched." Yulia whisks the listener away to Spain with the famed aria "Habanera" from Bizet's opera Carmen. Her exquisite operatic version is filled with fiery abandon. Another classic,, "Che Faro," is beautifully orchestrated and sung with perfection by Yulia. She sings with striking authority and warmth throughout this melodic piece. She continues in the same vein with "To Ni Veter."

Her versatility is evident as she lures the listener in "With You I'm Born Again." Through her gentleness of tone and lush passages, she engages the passionate side of emotion. This passion continues with another classic, "Pavane," by Faure. She follows this song with the wonderful James Bond theme "Nobody Does It Better." She sings the Marvin Hamlisch tune with sultry seduction and abandon.

The classical french love song "Plaisir d'Amour" is beautifully sung by this divine chanteuse. Charlotte Church, sang this song with a very different flair from the splendid Yulia, whose tones have a depth and richness that only her stunning contralto voice can execute so well. In "The Actress" there are exciting and powerful vocal crescendos. She concludes this fantastic album with the Freddie Mercury cover "The Show Must Go On." She sings this famed song with an emotive and powerful tribute to the meaningful depth of Mercury's epitaph.

In addition to the CD, the special edition includes a stunning DVD of her Montage live showcase from April 2006. The DVD allows the viewer a wonderful opportunity to watch the amazing Yulia in action. She owns the stage and her performance is quite enrapturing. She possesses great showmanship and definitely puts on a great show.

Montage is a complex and enlightening mosaic of songs that showcase Yulia's amazing talent. She shows great versatility in her style and does not fail to please. She can be likened to Sarah Brightman in her operatic and contempory stylings, but Yulia stands out with her incredible rich, contralto vocals as well as her fervent and heartfelt approach to her music. - Musical Discoveries USA

""Immensely Impressed""

"Hailing from the breathtaking island nation of New Zealand, Yulia's voice is every bit is beautiful as the land she calls her home. Watch Yulia's music video, We're All Alone, and we are sure that you will be "immensely impressed"

www.classicalcrossovermusic.com - www.classicalcrossovermusic.com

"Magical & Beautiful"

"Yulia, whose stage presence would have wiped out many an international singing A-lister, gave a performance described by accordionist and MC for the Sunday afternoon concert Friedrich as "magical and beautiful". "

"Pure Voice"

"Yulia's pure voice and bright personality illuminated the stage..."
- N Phillips, The Bay Chronicle (Sep 03, 2009) - The Bay Chronicle (Sep 03, 2009)

"Packed to the brim"

"The Dargaville Town Hall was packed to the brim and it was overwhelming that the public wants to see Yulia. So much so that I am organising a extra concert for her in Dargaville."
- Heidi Dreyer, Dargaville event organiser (Sep 14, 2009) - Heidi Dreyer, Dargaville event organiser (Sep 14, 2009)

"Standing Ovation"

"The performance was of a first class standard which the audience recognised with a standing ovation at the end."


- Number One Hit Album in NZ in the first week of sales - maintained position for four weeks on charts.
- Platinum in the first week of sales
- 4 times platinum (still selling)

- Number 1 Hit Album in NZ in the first week of sales - maintained position for one week)
- 2 times platinum (still selling)

Combined official 6 times platinum sales in New Zealand with total sales estimated 7 times platinum (unofficial).


1 x NZ's Only Russian Diva!
2 x No1 Hit Albums NZ
3 x Top 40 Radio Hits
4 x Weeks at No.1 (Into the West)
5 x Years as a household name in NZ
6 x Platinum Sales NZ
8 x Languages in fluent song:
- Russian,
- English,
- French,
- Italian,
- Spanish,
- German,
- NZ Maori,
- Latin

Yulia's third album is currently at the pre production planning stage with www.oikos.co.nz

Yulia is unsigned and seeking a record label, territorial representation and promoters.



Born in Volgograd, Russia Yulia immigrated to New Zealand with her mother in 2002. During 2003 Yulia attends Cashmere High School and completes education.

During 2003 Yulia is discovered on a regional television show in Christchurch. Show producers send a tape to Gray Bartlett. Gray Bartlett (who also discovered Hayley Westenra) immediately signs Yulia to a management deal. Yulia’s first live performances in 2004 both received standing ovations and occurred with Ivan Rebroff in Christchurch and then in Japan with Russell Watson and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.

2004 SONY MUSIC signs Yulia to a six album deal. The first album “Into the West” is released and achieves platinum status in the first week of sales, achieves an official four times platinum sales, 2 radio hits and four weeks at No.1 on the NZ album charts. The album is toured throughout New Zealand but is not exploited outside NZ (with the exception of a very limited promotion in Japan). Yulia performs with Michael Barrymore, Tim Beveridge and Shaun Dixon.
In 2005 Yulia wins two NZ Music Awards for “Best Female Solo Vocalist” and “Highest Selling Album of the Year” in the company of Finn Brothers and Brooke Fraser.

In 2006 SONY BMG releases Yulia’s second album “Montage” which achieves two times platinum sales and Yulia becomes the first female vocalist in NZ history to have two back to back number one hit albums. Montage also achieves 1 Radio Hit Single and becomes No.1 on the NZ album charts.

Also in 2006 SONY MUSIC merges with BMG to become SONY BMG. Michael Glading head of SONY of 25 years is made redundant which affected the direction of Yulia’s career. Yulia performs with Englebert Humperdinck & Dame Malvina Major.

Between 2006 and 2008 Yulia attends university to study linguistics. Yulia performs with Geoff Sewell, Amici Forever, TV and Radio.

In late 2007 Yulia contracts Oikos Music to redevelop her brand and her career. Oikos uses 2008 to further develop Yulia’s voice, live performance and settle on the brand / format of female solo vocal in the pop classical crossover genre.

January 2009 marketing begins to introduce Yulia to the music industry outside NZ with a view to securing interest from a new record label.

Yulia begins a total immersion opera training program in Russian and Italian methods of voice development.

In 2009 Yulia tours NZ and receives critical acclaim for her new voice of power in several front page reviews.