The English mezzo-soprano Carolyn Watkinson (born 19 March 1949) is a well-known singer of baroque music. Her voice is alternately characterized as mezzo-soprano and contralto. Watkinson was born in Preston and studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music and in The Hague. In 1978 she sang Rameau's Phèdre (Hippolyte et Aricie) at the English Bach Festival at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. In 1979 she appeared as Monteverdi's Nero (L'incoronazione di Poppea) with De Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam. Also in 1979 she was featured as the contralto soloist in Christopher Hogwood's landmark recording of Handel's Messiah, with the Academy of Ancient Music. In 1981 Watkinson made her La Scala debut in the title role of Ariodante and sang Rossini's Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia) in Stuttgart. She appeared as Gluck's Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice) with the Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 1982, and made her formal debut at Glyndebourne as Cherubino (Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro) in 1984. 1987 Watkinson toured Australia. She was a soloist in Bach's St. John Passion at Gloucester Cathedral in a performance shown on BBC TV on Good Friday in 1989. In 1990, she appeared as Dido in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas at the Salerno Cathedral and sang Nero at the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music.