The Belgian soprano, Ilse Eerens, began her vocal studies at the age of 14 at the Lemmens Institute in Louvain/Belgium. On completion of her studies she was accepted to the New Opera Academy in The Netherlands in 2002, and graduated with her Bachelors and Masters degrees in 2004 with Jard van Nes. She was awarded first prize in the Euriade Vocal Contest in Kerkrade and she was the recipient of the Arleen Auger prize in the International Vocal Competition in Ďs-Hertogenbosch/The Netherlands, being awarded a special distinction for the finalist who excelled in all the three categories of Opera, Oratorio and Lieder. She was also awarded the Culture Prize for Interpretation from Youth and Music Flandres, and was awarded the 3rd prize at the ARD vocal competition 2006.
Works on her concert repertoire include a.o. J.S. Bachís Weihnachts-Oratorium, Johannes-Passion, Matthäus-Passion and Hohe Messe along with numerous J.S. Bach Cantatas, George Frideric Handelís Messiah, Gabriel Fauréís Requiem, Johannes Brahmsí Ein deutsches Requiem, Giovanni Battista Pergolesiís Stabat Mater, W.A. Mozartís Requiem, Davide Penitente and Great Mass in C minor, Francis Poulencís Stabat Mater, Ralph Vaughan Williamsí A Sea Symphony and Gustav Mahlerís 2nd and 4th Symphonies.
Ilse Eerens has performed with many major orchestras including the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Dutch Radio Orchestraís, Orchestre National de Lille, Brussels Philharmonic, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Orchestra of the San Carlos Opera and she already had the pleasure to work with conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Leo Hussain, Hartmut Haenchen, Paolo Olmi, Enrico Delamboye, Serge Baudo, Michael Schonwandt, Mark Wigglesworth and Jaap van Zweden.
On the opera stage Ilse Eerens has sung in previous seasons the role of Echo in Straussí Ariadne auf Naxos and Valencienne in Lehárís Die lustige Witwe at Vlaamse Opera, Adèle in Die Fledermaus and Zerlina in W.A. Mozart's Don Giovanni in semi-staged productions with the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra and the role of Wendla in Benoît Mernierís Frühlings Erwachen at La Monnaie. At the Opéra National de Lyon she participated in Le Vin Herbé by Frank Martin.
Recent engagements include the role of Marianne in the world-premiere of Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald, the new opera of Austrian composer HK Gruber at the Bregenzer Festspiele,the role of La seconde fille in Philippe Boesmansí world-premiere of Au Monde at La Monnaie, Despina in a semi-staged production of W.A. Mozart's Cosi fan tutte with the Orchestra of the 18th Century, Jemmy in a concert version of Rossiniís Guillaume Tell with conductor Evelino Pidò at La Monnaie, a recording and concerts of Dvořákís Requiem with Philippe Herreweghe, the title-role of Janáčekís Cunning Little Vixen at the Opéra National de Lyon, her debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as Kitchenboy in Rusalka, the soprano part in Lady Sarashina by Péter Eötvös at the Polish National Opera in Warsaw and her role-debut as Gilda in Rigoletto at the Festival in Alden-Biesen. At La Monnaie in Brussels she recently performed the roles of Noémie in Massenetís Cendrillon, Antigone in Martinuís Oedipe, 1st Blumenmädchen and 1st Knappe in Parsifal and Amanda in Ligetiís Le Grand Macabre, a role she also performed at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Teatro dellíOpera di Roma and at the Adelaide Music Festival in Australia.
In the Vrijdag van Vredenburg series at Vredenburg Utrecht Ilse Eerens performed Arthur Honeggerís Le roi David and W.A. Mozartís Krönungsmesse under the baton of Michael Schønwandt and she sang Richard Straussí Brentano Lieder with the Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Martin Sieghart. In the Zaterdag Matinee series at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam she sang Yniold in Debussyís Pelléas et Mélisande, Jemmy in Rossiniís Guillaume Tell and the roles of Zima and Phani in Rameauís Les Indes Galantes. At the Ruhrtriënnale Festival she sang Ein junges Mädchen and 1e Nackte Jungfrau in Arnold Schoenbergís Moses und Aron in a production of Willy Decker and she participated in Europeras by composer John Cage.
Well in demand on the concert platform, Ilse Eerens recently sang in Haydnís Die Jahreszeiten with Philippe Herreweghe, J.S. Bachís Oster-Oratorium with the Orchestra of the 18th Century conducted by Frans Brüggen and she participated in a recording of Dvořákís Stabat Mater with Philippe Herreweghe which was awarded ďRecord of the MonthĒ in July 2013 by Gramophone Magazine.
Highlights for the 2014-2015 season include her role-debut as Oscar in Un ballo in maschera at La Monnaie, her role-debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at the Stadttheater Klagenfurt and the role of Marianne in Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald at Theater an der Wien. She will sing Gabriel Fauré's Requiem with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Dvorakís Stabat Mater with the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées conducted by Philippe Herreweghe, W.A. Mozart's Great Mass in C minor with the Orchestra of the 18th Century and J.S. Bach's Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) with The Hague Philharmonic Orchestra. Further ahead she is scheduled to sing the role of Celia in W.A. Mozart's Lucio Silla with the Insula orchestra in a tour through Europe in venues such as Opéra Royal de Versailles, Grand Théâtre de Provence d'Aix-en-Provence, Theater an der Wien and the Philharmonie de Paris and she will make her role-debut as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Orchestra of the 18th Century under the baton Kenneth Montgomery. Furthermore she is scheduled to sing the world premiere of a newly composed work by Toshio Hosokawa for 2 Sopranos and Orchestra with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.