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Introducing… Jane Irwin

By Ailie Crerar

16th July 2019

Introducing our Introducing… series, in which members of the MOS team tell us a little bit more about themselves. We spoke first to Jane Irwin, one of the Studio’s Vocal Consultants.


As a concert and recital singer, Jane regularly appears in Britain, Europe and America. She is also a Principal Study Tutor within the School of Vocal Studies and Opera at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester.



What was your first professional job?

My first professional job was singing 2nd Norn in Götterdämmerung at ROH Covent Garden, aged 25!


Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? 

My dream dinner party would be family and close friends. Beyond that, Zadie Smith, Jacinda Ardern, Serena Williams and Kate Bush.


What do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out? 

Starting out, I wish I’d been given better technical advice on how to sing.


What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

Follow your dreams so that if it doesn’t work out, there’s no possibility of saying “What if?”


What excites you about working with young musicians?

I love to be able to give something back, and see a spark lit up in a person when something clicks, or they are introduced to a wonderful piece of music for the first time. Young people today are so much more caring about their fellow human beings and the planet, and they save me from being too set in my ways.


A bit more about Jane:


In 2002 she made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Mariss Jansons. She has sung for the BBC Proms, at the Edinburgh International Festival, the Berlin Festival, the Concertgebouw and the Musikverein. Orchestras with whom she has worked include the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre de Paris, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, American Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, Zurich Tonhalle, and with most British orchestras. She has collaborated with conductors Sir Simon Rattle, Semyon Bychkov, Ivor Bolton, Sir Andrew Davis, Donald Runnicles, Antonio Pappano, Sakari Oramo, Sir Mark Elder, Trevor Pinnock, Sir Richard Armstrong and Jakov Kreizberg. Jane has also given recitals at the Châtelet, Paris, London, Edinburgh, Geneva, Aix-en-Provence and Japan.


Jane has recently moved into the soprano repertoire, where she has sung Britten’s War Requiem, Marie in Fragments from Wozzeck , Isolde’s Liebestod in Sardinia, Sieglinde in Act1 of Die Walküre in Mexico City, Andromache in Tippett’s King Priam at the Brighton Festival, and Brunnhilde’s Immolation scene from Götterdämmerung with the Bremer Philharmoniker.


As a mezzo she made her debut at the ROH in Götterdämmerung/Second Norn under Bernard Haitink returning in 2003 to sing Suzuki/Madam Butterfly. She has sung in Die Walküre at Bayreuth, Brangäne/Tristan und Isolde for San Francisco Opera, English National Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin, Mère Marie/Dialogues des Carmélitesfor Lyric Opera of Chicago and appears regularly with Scottish Opera, highlights including Waltraute/Götterdämmerung and Anezka in The Two Widows by Smetana at the Edinburgh International Festival.


Recent and future engagements include Verdi’s Requiem with RPO and Vladimir Jurowski at RFH, concerts with Manchester Camerata, Northern Sinfonia, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (with Sir Simon Rattle), San Diego Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony, Real Filharmonia de Galicia, Orchestre National de Lyon and Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra as well as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde for the Deutsche Opera Berlin conducted by Donald Runnicles and directed by Graham Vick. Jane sang the role of Miss. Jessel in a recent performance of Turn of the Screw with Aurora Orchestra at Snape Maltings and LSO St. Luke’s. She performed her first Isolde with Regensburg Opera and the Fremde Furstin in Rusalka for Saarbrucken Opera. Jane recently sang Tristan und Isolde in Craiova and excerpts from Lohengrin and Der Rosenkavelier with the Suisse Romonde. Jane also teaches singing at the RNCM and is in regular demand in masterclasses and workshops. These include masterclasses at the Abingdon, RCS summer schools and the New Generation Summer School in Florence.


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