Scottish Soprano Alison McNeill began her musical career as a first study violinist at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Junior Department before making her singing debut with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall at the age of sixteen. She graduated as a scholarship student in 2008 with a Bachelor of Music (Honours) and then had periods of private study in Spain before completing her Masters in Performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2013 where she studied with Wilma McDougall under a Scholarship from the RCS Trust. Alison has made many solo appearances throughout the UK, Holland, Spain, Austria, America and Mexico.
As a specialist in Spanish Song, Alison is the 2012 Winner of the Andres Segovia prize for Spanish Song and is the only non-native Spanish speaker to win this award. Alison has studied with the famous mezzo soprano Teresa Berganza, the late great Miguel Zanetti, Miguel Angel Arqued (Teatro Real), Jorge Robaina, Julio Munoz and Antonio Parejo in Spain and premiered new works by Spain’s leading composers Anton Garcia Abril and Teresa Bretal in the National Auditorium of Galicia and Atheneum in Madrid. She has also performed in the Manuel de Falla Auditorium in Granada and in the houses of celebrated composers Joaquin Rodrigo and Manuel de Falla. With world class guitarist and duo partner Sasha Savaloni, Alison performed two World Premieres by Stuart MacRae and Marco Ramelli at the St. Magnus International Festival in Orkney, gave a recital in Madrid’s famous “Clasicos en Verano” Chamber Music Festival which was recorded by Spanish National Radio. “Quality Music at it’s best…and a voice to die for.” In Mexico, Alison has performed Mexican Baroque repertoire with Baroque Ensemble Ditirambo, recitals with guitarist and composer Javier Hernandez Tagle and a cross-cultural folk fusion project with La Camaraderia. She has appeared on Mexican TV and Radio and has given masterclasses and voice lessons at the Cuerdas y Canto International Festival.
As an experienced and sought after recitalist, Alison has performed in Tokyo at The Lyre (Japan), Minami Aizu Concert Hall (Japan), The International Music Centre (Vienna), The Juung Vocal Series in Den Haag (Holland), El Cosmovitral (Mexico), Spain and a five state tour of America with contemporary vocal quartet Scottish Voices led by composer Graham Hair as well as a research Project on Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with Jane Manning. Alison’s UK Concert work includes Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Glasgow Chamber Orchestra, Haydn’s Scots Songs with Cantelina Chamber Music Festival on the Island of Islay. Top venues in the UK include Merchants House (Westbourne Music), Glasgow City Chambers, Paisley Abbey and Stirling Castle. With guitarist Sasha Savaloni prestigious performances include the Big Guitar Weekend Festival gaining a mention in the Classical Guitar Magazine and a performance and recording for BBC Radio Scotland’s Classics Unwrapped presented by Jamie McDougall. The Duo also work with a flamenco dancer and cajon player exploring Flamenco inspired repertoire.“delivered immaculately and sung ravishingly.” Gordon Armour, Glasgow Chamber Orchestra.
Opera highlights include Scottish Opera’s Pop-Up Tour 2016 & 2017 with the roles of Mimi (A little bit of La Boheme), Mabel (A little bit of Pirates of Penzance), Yum Yum (A little bit of Mikado), Countess (A little bit of Marriage of Figaro), Carmen (Carmen), Rosina in Prokofiev’s Bethrothal in a Monastery (Glasgow Theatre Royal & Edinburgh Theatre in a joint production between RCS & Scottish Opera, Manon in Massenet’s Manon (RCS scenes), Fox in Janackec’s Cunning Little Vixen (scenes) and Junon in Charpentier’s Acteon with Ayrshire Opera Experience, a Scots Language project in collaboration with the Robert Burns Birthplace. Oratorio performances include Beethoven’s Mass in C, Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Haydn’s The Seasons, Mendelsohn’s Lobgesang, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Goodall’s Every Purpose Under the Heaven (Scottish Premiere), Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Wachet Auf! ,Charpentier’s Te Deum in Glasgow Cathedral, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Brahms Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Zelenka’s Magnificat in D, Rutter’s Feel the Spirit, Howard Blake’s The Snowman (RSNO), Chichester Psalms ( BBC SSO, conducted by Martyn Brabbins and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Radio Scotland).
Alison is a wonderful communicator and inspirational teacher, choral conductor and workshop leader. She is in high demand a voice teacher working for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Choir as well as conducting choirs and leading workshops in schools and summer schools.