Belgian soprano Ilse Eerens began her vocal studies at the age of 14 at the Lemmens Institute in Louvain/Belgium. She then joined the New Opera Academy in The Netherlands and graduated with a Masters degree, as a student of Jard van Nes.
Most recent engagements include a celebrated role debut as Tschang-haitang in Zemlinsky’s Der Kreidekreis for Opéra de Lyon, Celia in Lucio Silla at La Monnaie, Debussy’s La Damoiselle élue with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, works by Schubert, Mozart, Bruckner, Mahler at the Takefu Festival in Japan and Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the MDR Sinfonieorchester Leipzig. She also gave house debuts at the New National Theatre Tokyo in Sasha Waltz’ production of Matsukaze and at the Salzburger Festspiele 2018 as First Lady in Die Zauberflöte and in Gottfried von Einem’s Der Prozess with the Radiosinfonieorchester Wien under HK Gruber.
Elsewhere, she has sung the lead role of Marianne in HK Gruber’s Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald at the Bregenzer Festspiele and Theater an der Wien, La Vierge in Honegger’s Jeanne au Bûcher and the title-role in Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, both for the Opéra National de Lyon, Kitchenboy in Rusalka for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Matilda in Rossini’s Elisabetta, regina d’Inghilterra, at Theater an der Wien, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at Stadttheater Klagenfurt, Despina in Cosi fan tutte and Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro, both with the Orchestra of the 18th Century, the title role of Hosokawa’s Matsukaze at Opera Narodowa in Warsaw and the soprano part in Lady Sarashina by Péter Eötvös at Opera Narodowa in Warsaw and at the Opéra National de Lyon.
A regular guest at La Monnaie in Brussels, her roles for this house have included Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, Jemmy in a concert version of Guillaume Tell (also at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam), Noémie in Massenet’s Cendrillon, Antigone in Enescu’s Oedipe, Amanda in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, a part she has also performed at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and at the Adelaide Music Festival in Australia.
Equally sought-after as a concert performer, Ilse Eerens’ repertoire ranges from Bach to Honegger and contemporary works. More recently, she performed Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées under Philippe Herreweghe, Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Dutch Radio Philharmonic, Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, his Paulus with the MDR Sinfonieorchester and the world premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s Nach dem Sturm with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, with concerts in Tokyo, Luxembourg and at the Philharmonie Berlin.
She has recorded Nach dem Sturm with the Orquesta Sinfonia de Euskadi under Jun Maerkl and Dvořák’s Requiem and Stabat Mater with Philippe Herreweghe. The Stabat Mater was awarded “Record of the Month” by Gramophone Magazine
In 2018/19, Ms Eerens will return to La Monnaie as Pamina in Romeo Castelucci’s new production of Die Zauberflöte, to be presented later in the season at Opera de Lille, give her role debut as Melisande in Pelléas et Mélisande at Stadttheater Klagenfurt, appear at the Vienna Konzerthaus in von Einem’s Der Prozess, perform Haydn’s Seasons with the Orchestra of the 18th Century, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Het Gelders Orkest and Claus Peter Flor, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the MDR Sinfonieorchester and Mozart’s Requiem with the Gulbenkian Orchestra.
Ms Eerens has also worked with conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Hartmut Haenchen, Paolo Olmi, Kazushi Ono, Peter Dijkstra, Michael Boder, Jean-Christoph Spinosi, Michael Schonwandt, Kenneth Montgomery, Mark Wigglesworth, Jaap van Zweden, Constantinos Carydis, Frans Bruggen, Evelino Pidò, Antonello Manacorda and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.
Awards include the Arleen Auger prize in the International Vocal Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, where she was the only the finalist who excelled in all the three categories of Opera, Oratorio and Lieder, and the 3rd prize at the ARD Musikwettbewerb 2006.
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