The English soprano Louise Alder became one of the most exciting and critically acclaimed young singers on the operatic scene in the mid-2010s, making high-profile appearances at festivals and, in 2017, winning the Audience Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Alder was born around 1987 in London. She grew up in a musical family; her mother, whom she has described as a major influence, played in the Glyndebourne Festival Orchestra. Alder attended the University of Edinburgh, studying music and graduating with First Class Honors in 2010. Her teacher there was Patricia MacMahon. Enrolling in the Britten-Pears Young Artist program, she began to rack up important prizes: a top prize at the 2012 Maggie Teyte French Song Competition, a second prize in the 2012 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, and many Royal College of Music honors, including the 2013 Tagore Gold Medal awarded every year to two graduating students for outstanding representation of the RCM. Alder joined the ensemble at the Frankfurt Opera in 2014 and in the 2017-2018 season took three important roles there: Despina in Mozart's Così fan tutte, Sophie in Massenet's Werther, and Clorinda in Rossini's La Cenerentola. After winning the first British Young Soloists' Competition at London's Wigmore Hall in 2015, she found herself fielding offers from major British companies. Alder has appeared as Sophie in Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier at the Welsh National Opera; Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni with Glyndebourne on Tour; at The Royal Opera as Eurydice in Rossi's Orpheus; as Lucia in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia; and as Sophie (Der Rosenkavalier) with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and in many other roles, both in England and abroad. Among those roles was that of Juliette Vermont in Lehár's Der Graf von Luxemburg; she appeared on a recording of that operetta in 2017, and her debut solo recital, a collection of Strauss songs, was well-timed to take advantage of her success in Cardiff. One of the busiest sopranos in Britain as of 2017, she could not be described as anything other than extremely promising. ~ James Manheim
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