Northern Irish soprano Aoife Miskelly studied as a Sickle Foundation Scholar on the Opera Masters degree course at the Royal Academy of Music in London, graduating in 2012 with the Regency Award. During her studies, Aoife was a Kathleen Ferrier Awards finalist (2010), won a BBC Northern Ireland Young Artists Platform Award, and was a Samling Scholar, Internationale Meistersinger Akademie Young Artist and Britten-Pears Young Artist. Aoife was the winner of the Hampshire National Singing Competition in 2011, the Bernadette Greevy Bursary in 2011, finalist in the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition 2013, and finalist in the 2015 Wigmore Hall Song Competition.
During the 2012-16 seasons Aoife was a soloist at the Cologne Opera House where she sang Gilda Rigoletto, Gretel Hänsel und Gretel, Musetta La Bohème, Zerlina Don Giovanni, Eliza Doolittle My Fair Lady, Frasquita Carmen, Despina Cosi fan Tutte, Valencienne Die Lustige Witwe, Servilia La Clemenza di Tito, Papagena Die Zauberflöte, Nella Gianni Schicchi, Zweite Blumenmädchen Parsifal, and the lead role of Harey in the German premiere of Detlev Glanert’s Solaris. In May 2014, Aoife was awarded the prestigious Offenbach Prize by the friends of Cologne Opera House for outstanding achievement throughout the season.
Aoife’s other operatic projects have included Pamina Die Zauberflöte for Northern Ireland Opera and the Bath Festival, Cecily Cardew in the Irish Premiere of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest, Sanndmänchen/Dew Fairy Hansel and Gretel with NI Opera, and Thérèse in Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias at both La Monnaie and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. In July 2014, Aoife returned to the festival in Aix for its production, directed by Katie Mitchell, of staged Bach cantatas entitled Trauernacht with Raphaël Pichon and Ensemble Pygmalion.
A natural performer of modern music, Aoife created the role of Sophie Scholl in the world premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ opera Kommilitonen! directed by David Pountney. She also performed the role of Mary Crawford in the London premiere of Jonathan Dove’s opera Mansfield Park in May 2012 with Royal Academy Opera. With Camerata Ireland and pianist/conductor Barry Douglas, Aoife sang in the world premiere of Mark Anthony Turnage’s At Sixes and Sevens in July 2013. In April 2014, Aoife returned to sing with Camerata Ireland and Codetta in their performance – live on Spanish radio – of Beethoven’s oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives in Cuenca.
Aoife is also a very keen oratorio singer, having performed in a whole host of concerts, including Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, St. John and Matthew Passions, Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen and Magnificat, Beethoven’s Mass in C (in Cologne Cathedral), Brahms’ Deutches Requiem (St. Martin in the Fields), Carissimi’s Jepthe (St. John’s, Smith Square), Handel’s Messiah, Dixit Dominus, Laudate Pueri Dominum, and Saul (conducted by Laurence Cummings), Mozart’s Requiem, Coronation Mass and Exultate Jubilate, Orff’s Carmina Burana (Ulster Orchestra), Poulenc’s Gloria, Stravinsky’s Mass, Varese’s Nocturnal and Vivaldi’s Gloria.
Aoife’s recent highlights include Despina Northern Ireland Opera, The Woman in The Last Hotel at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House for Wide Open Opera, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hyogo Performing Arts Centre in Japan, and Eliza Doolittle for The Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman. Last season Aoife made an acclaimed debut for Opera North in the title role of Snowmaiden by Rimsky-Korsakov; sang Zerlina Don Giovanni, Polissena Handel’s Radamisto for NI Opera, and covered the role of Sophie (Rosenkavalier) for Welsh National Opera.
Recent and future engagements include role debuts as Vixen Sharpears in Janá?ek’s The Cunning little Vixen, Clorinda La Cenerentola both for Welsh National Opera, Claire de Loone in Bernstein’s On The Town in Tokyo and Hyogo, Cherubino Le Nozze di Figaro for Irish National Opera, Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro for Nevill Holt Opera, together with concert performances in Magdeburg as a soloist with the RIAS Kammerchor, Mozart Requiem with the Ulster Orchestra, alongside engagements in Vienna and Bratislava.
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