Photo by Frances Marshall

Our 1995 Prizewinner

Orla Boylan, Irish Soprano – Winner of 1995 Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition (VDISC) in Dublin, Ireland – Photo by Frances Marshall
Photo by Frances Marshall

Orla Boylan


Orla’s appearances include Teatro alla Scala Milan, Salzburg Opera Festival, Sydney Opera House, Royal Danish Opera, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English National Opera, Opera North, New York City Opera, Deutsche and Komische Oper Berlin, Hamburg Staatsoper, Oper Köln, Opera de Lyon, Opera Nationale du Rhin, Western Australian Opera, New Zealand Opera and Opera Ireland.

A series of title roles at Garsington Opera (Danae, Arabella, Ariadne) established Orla as a leading interpreter of the music of Richard Strauss. She also became highly regarded as a performer in the operatic work of Benjamin Britten in which her roles include Ellen Orford, Governess, Female Chorus, Miss Wingrave and most recently Lady Billows (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, The Grange Festival)….“their combined thunder is stolen by Orla Boylan’s utterly terrifying Lady Billows…whose Wagnerian tones and gimlet gaze quell all opposition.”

Throughout her career Orla has been greatly in demand as an interpreter of German, Russian and Czech Repertoire. Her performances as Tatyana (Eugene Onegin), Lisa (Pique Dame), Iolanta, Jenufa, Katya Kabanova, Sieglinde (Die Walküre) and Chrysothemis (Elektra) affirmed her international reputation. She has worked with some of the world’s foremost conductors and directors including the late Sir Jeffrey Tate, Sir Mark Elder, Elgar Howarth, Kent Nagano, Xian Zhang, the late Nicholas Lehnhoff, Robert Carson and Phillipa Lloyd.

Orla’s move into dramatic repertoire brought her notable acclaim with her recent debut as Turandot ……here as the ice princess she is operating at full throttle, sailing above the stave and glorifying in her power” (Opera North, Opera Northern Ireland). Her thrilling performances as Senta in Der Fliegender Holländer brought her international success both on stage and in concert (Royal Danish Opera, Oslo Pholharmonic, Sydney Philharmonic) and her performances as Tosca (Opera Ireland, New Zealand Opera) have been broadcast worldwide and in cinemas throughout New Zealand.

Concert appearances include excerpts of Ariadne auf Naxos and Die Walküre with the Orchestra Sinfonica della RAI di Torino and Orla recently made her debut as Soprano I in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir which has now been released on CD. Other concert appearances include Britten’s War Requiem (Perth International Festival, Sydney Opera House, Auckland Philharmonic, Opera Nationale du Rhin), Verdi Requiem (Hallé Orchestra, St. Paul’s Cathedral), Richard Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder and Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder (RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra).

Read more about Orla Boylan

Our 1995 Jury

Jane Carty
Competition Chair