The English soprano, Tessa Bonner, began her musical career working for BBC Television as a production assistant. She then went to Leeds University where she obtained a music degree and began her vocal training with Honor Sheppard. She continued studying singing at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Margaret Lensky and Ellis Keeler.
Tessa Bonner sang regularly with various ensembles, including the Taverner Consort, the Tallis Scholars, the New London Consort, the Lute Group, the Gabrieli Consort and the King’s Consort, and the Early Opera Project. She appeared frequently with Musica Secreta, notably at the Early Music Centre Festival, the Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music and at the National Gallery. As well as performing at London’s South Bank and the Wigmore Hall, she made many appearances throughout Europe, the USA and Japan. With The Lute Group and Astraea she also took part in Early music Network tours of the UK. For Roger Norrington’s Early Opera Project she performed the roles of Amore and Valletto in Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea as well as First Boy in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for the 1990 BBC Promenade Concerts, a project which was subsequently recorded. She made Early Music Network Tour of Britain in November 1991 with programme Filiae Jerusalem (sacred music for women's voices by Monteverdi, Carissimi, Cavalli, Viadna, Grandi and Marco da Gagliano). Other repertoire includes works by Marenzio, Luzzaschi, Wert, Luigi Rossi and the women composers Francesca Caccini and Barbara Strozzi. She took part in lecture-recitals and workshops on performance practice and ornamentation.