Biography

Scottish soprano Isla MacEwan is a versatile lyric-soprano currently studying for a Master of Arts degree on scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music under Alex Ashworth. Isla began her vocal training at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior Department before graduating with first class honours from the Royal Northern College of Music. Isla is a 2022 Associate Artist with Nevill Holt Opera. 

Isla is an accomplished oratorio singer and has recently sung Bach's St John Passion under Philippe Herreweghe as well as a soloist in Händel's Messiah with the Manchester Camerata and Nevill Holt Opera. Since beginning her studies at the Royal Academy, Isla has been a soloist in the Academy's prestigious Bach the European concert series, collaborating with Eamonn Dougan and Rachel Podger. Other solo oratorio repertoire includes Brahms Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Mozart Exsultate Jubilate, Fauré Requiem, Saint-Saëns Christmas Oratorio, Haydn The Creation, Vivaldi Gloria and Schubert Mass in G. Isla was the 2020 recipient of the Oratorio Prize at the David Clover Singing Competition.

On the opera stage, Isla has sung under the baton of Vasily Petrenko in a production of Falstaff with the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in collaboration with the European Opera Centre. She has also sung the roles of First and Second Witch in Dido and Aeneas with Royal Academy Opera and Hurn Court Opera,  Susanna in an English translation of The Marriage of Figaro with Flatpack Opera, the Governess in The Turn of the Screw with Leeds Youth Opera and the Apparition in Macbeth with Dorset Opera.

In recital, Isla has performed in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Recital Hall, Bradford Cathedral and Rekstensamlingene Recital Hall in Bergen, Norway. In 2020, Isla won the English Song Prize at the David Clover Singing Competition and received Highly Commended in the Michael Head English Song Prize at the Royal Academy of Music.

Isla is generously supported by the Baird Trust and the Nan Copeland Award.

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