Mezzosoprano Isabella Shaw specializes in opera and early music performance.
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Shaw studied literature and languages at Clare College, University of Cambridge, before pursuing early music and opera studies across Europe, completing her master’s in opera in Helsinki (MuM Sibelius Academy).
Recent opera roles include Florence (Albert Herring), la Zia Principessa (Suor Angelica), Cupido/Nicklause (L’Orfee aux enfers / Contes d’Hoffmann), Caredo/Ninfa (L’Elice, Olomouc Baroque Festival), Bradamante (Alcina), Lucretia (The Rape of Lucretia), and Sesto (La Clemenza di Tito).
Shaw’s artistic work and studies have been supported by Taike foundation, Helene och Walter Grönkvists Stifelse, Selim Eskelinin säätiö, Ooppera Kummit, and Sibelius Academy Foundation, among others.
In addition to her work as a soloist, Shaw is passionate about duo and chamber music projects; her lied duo was chosen for the semifinals of the Sibelius Singing Competition (2020, cancelled due to the pandemic). Shaw is a founding member of experimental early music chamber ensemble Motus Harmonicus, and has performed as a soloist at festivals such as the Prague Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Series, Musica Figurata, and the Haydn Music Festival. She is a founding member of Verso chamber ensemble (FI) and has performed with early music ensembles Musica Florea (CZ), Ensemble Inegal (CZ), and Magister Petrus (ES). She has also worked as a dramaturg and performer for improvised, experimental and early music projects including Cineconcert: La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (FI), Motus Harmonicus programs (CZ), and more. She is known for creating musical performances that pierce through past and present, connecting ancient and current worlds.
Shaw is also a poet and author of Wilderness (2020), Weyrwood (2018), and Songs of Remembrance (2016).