Real Lives: Something to sing about for Catriona

Catriona Morison
Catriona Morison
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A mezzo soprano from the Capital is has received an honorary professorship from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

BBC Cardiff Singer of the World winner and Royal Conservatoire alumna Catriona Morison was presented with the accolade from her alma mater, ranked in the world’s top three for performing arts education.

Catriona, who grew up in Barnton and attended the Royal High School, was the first singer from the UK to win the prestigious main prize at the BBC Cardiff competition in its 34-year history after impressing a judging panel.

The panel included some of the top names from the world of opera, including Welsh National Opera director David Pountney, mezzo soprano Grace Bumbry, soprano Sumi Jo, baritone Wolfgang Holzmair and conductor Anu Tali.

She was one of 400 international entrants to BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, a globally recognised showcase for the finest young international opera and concert singers at the start of their careers.

Thirty-one-year-old Catriona was selected for the final 20 alongside fellow Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduates Anush Hovhannisyan and Dominic Barberi, representing Armenia and England respectively, going on to win the competition’s main and song prizes.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “It is with great delight that Scotland’s national conservatoire will celebrate the wonderful successes of Catriona.

“Catriona is one of the leading performers of her generation, already enjoying a busy international career.”

Catriona’s early studies were as a member of the RCS Junior Conservatoire, as a joint first study singer and violist.

She went on to study for her BMus (Hons) and PGDip Opera Studies at the Royal Conservatoire and graduated from the institution’s Alexander Gibson Opera School in 2013 with an MMus Opera with Distinction.

Catriona became a Samling Artist in her final year at the Alexander Gibson Opera School, is a member of the ensemble at Wuppertal Opera in Germany and a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist.

She was member of the Salzburg Festival’s Young Singers Project and debuted with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in 2014, and performed at the BBC Proms 2013, and at the Salzburg Easter Festival 2015.

She has sung under distinguished conductors including Franz Welser-Möst, Christoph Altstaedt, David Parry and Jos van Immerseel.