Aoife Miskelly - Soprano

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Northern Irish soprano Aoife Miskelly studied as a Sickle Foundation Scholar at the Royal Academy Opera under Jennifer Dakin and Audrey Hyland, graduating with the Regency Award in 2012. During her studies, Aoife was a Kathleen Ferrier Awards finalist (2010), won a BBC Northern Ireland Young Artists Platform Award (Arts Council of NI sponsored), and was a Samling Scholar.

From 2012 to 2014 Aoife was part of the opera studio at Oper Köln, including singing roles on the main stage like Gilda Rigoletto, Gretel Hänsel und Gretel, Nella Gianni Schicchi, Servilia La Clemenza di Tito and Blumenmädchen Parsifal. Aoife was part of the full ensemble in Köln in the following two seasons, singing roles such as Despina Cosi fan Tutte, the title role in Schneewitchen, Valencienne Die Lustige Witwe, Papagena Die Zauberflöte, Frasquita Carmen, Eliza Doolittle My Fair Lady and Harey in Solaris. In May 2014, Aoife was awarded the prestigious Offenbach Prize by the friends of Cologne Opera House for outstanding achievement througout the season. In her final season at Oper Köln she sang Zerlina Don Giovanni, Musetta and Eliza Doolittle, while at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Studio she sang The Woman The Last Hotel and, in Japan, Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Aoife’s other operatic projects have included Pamina Die Zauberflöte, Cecily Cardew in the Irish Premiere of Gerald Barry’sThe Importance of Being Earnest and Sanndmänchen/Dew Fairy Hänsel und Gretel with Northern Ireland Opera and Therese 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.

A natural performer of modern music, Aoife performed the role of Mary Crawford in the London premiere of Jonathan Dove’s opera Mansfield Park in May 2012 with Royal Academy Opera (directed by John Ramster). 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 keen oratorio singer, having performed in a whole host of concerts, including Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, St. John Passion, 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 (NYOGB) and Vivaldi’s Gloria.

Aoife’s most recent roles have included Clorinda La Cenerentola for Welsh National Opera, Claire On The Town in Japan, Eliza Doolittle My Fair Lady in Cologne, Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro at Nevill Holt Opera, Zerlina Don Giovanni and Polissena Radamisto for Northern Ireland Opera and the title role in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden for Opera North.  This coming season, Aoife returns to Welsh National Opera to sing the title role in The Cunning Little Vixen.

 

For Vixen/The Cunning Little Vixen/Welsh National Opera 2019

“Above all, it’s Aoife Miskelly as the feisty vixen Bystrouška whose clear-toned soprano and gleeful presence is a perfect match for this role and equally convincing whether brazen or maternal. Hers was a portrayal glowing with humanity and if she overshadowed Lucia Cervoni’s eager fox, their duet was a special joy” Opera Today

“Aoife Miskelly sings the title role with gleeful vitality” The Times

“As the Vixen, Aoife Miskelly was a constantly vivacious presence – making of the vixen one of opera’s feistiest females – a genuine sister to Carmen and Lulu – very much an independent ‘woman’ and an advocate of female liberation. Though fiercely energetic throughout, Miskelly’s Vixen was also capable of moments of tenderness, even if the way she challenged and defied masculine figures of power like the Forester or the Badger, raising her skirt to leave the latter with the memory of ‘something feminine’ and forcing him out of his sett, was more characteristic.”  Seen and Heard

“The Northern Irish soprano, Aoife Miskelly, sparkles as the Vixen, as athletic vocally as she is physically, jitterbugging around the stage in authentic twenties fashion.” The Arts Desk

“Ulster soprano Aoife Miskelly is dazzling as Vixen, both in sound and motion” Wales Arts Review

“Sharp-Ears, the marvellous Aoife Miskelly, embodies the irrepressible spirit of nature”  The Stage

For Susanna/Le Nozze di Figaro/Nevill Holt Opera 2018

“Aoife Miskelly’s bright-as-a-button Susanna, exquisitely sung and roguishly acted” The Times 

“But the standout moment occurred in Act Three: a divine rendition of “Sull’aria” by Ingram and Aoife Miskelly’s charismatic Susanna” Whatsonstage

“Miskelly captured all the gentle teasing implicit in ‘Deh vieni non tardar’”  The Telegraph

“Aoife Miskelly, with her beautiful soprano… with some astutely observed gestures, reveals how Susanna simply and quietly goes about getting the job done”  Music OMH

For Cherubino/Le Nozze di Figaro – Irish National Opera 2018

“Irish National Opera’s first bespoke show…musical standards were high, with Máire Flavin’s Countess and Aoife Miskelly’s Cherubino particular standouts… The real dramatic truthfulness seemed to come from Aoife Miskelly’s beautifully awkward Cherubino, and his flirtations with Barbarina”  The Guardian

“Aoife Miskelly really impressed as the love-sick page, Cherubino. “Voi che sapete” was ravishingly good and delightfully bashful while her acting was convincingly hormonal and mischievous”   Bachtrack

“Aoife Miskelly’s gawky Cherubino charms us all”   The Irish Examiner

For Polissena/Radamisto

“Whether she’s singing Bach or Barry, Schoenberg or Mozart, Glanert or Rimsky-Korsakov, Aoife Miskelly never fails to impress, so it was no surprise that her expressive coloratura as Polissena was just dazzling”  Opera Journal

For Zerlina/Don Giovanni

“But the evening belongs to Northern Ireland soprano Aoife Miskelly, fizzing and sparkling as a pert, sexy Zerlina, even in the slightly queasy aria where she begs to be punished violently for her dalliance with the dastardly Don“   The Stage “However, there was a real standout performance from the Northern Irish soprano Aoife Miskelly, whose Zerlina was charming, musical and sparkling”  The Times

For Pamina/Die Zauberflöte

“Her potential is huge, and what we did hear was gorgeous. The timbre is absolutely ideal for the role, shining, effortlessly sweet, with a coruscating vibrato that gets more beautiful as it ascends above the stave. Felicity Lott and Barbara Bonney were put in mind”  Bachtrack

 For Harey/Solaris (by Detlev Glanert)

“Among the singers, the young Irish soprano Aoife Miskelly stands out. She began life in the [Cologne] opera studio, then gave a beautiful Gilda and now belongs to the ensemble. With a slim figure, her singing in the role of Harey shines wonderfully and is intensely played”   Der neue Merker