Soprano Ella Smith completed her Bachelor of Music in classical voice at the University of Auckland under the tutelage of Dr. Morag Atchison. Ella has sung with the Rundfunkchor Berlin, Voices New Zealand, the New Zealand Youth Choir, the NZ Opera Chorus and the Age of Discovery Vocal Ensemble. She is a recipient of the DMMF Excellence Award.
Ella moved to Germany in 2016 to further pursue singing. In 2018, she was selected as one of the four Academy scholars with the Rundfunkchor Berlin, and continues to sing with the ensemble on a freelance basis. The following year, she was a member of the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart JSB Ensemble and performed in several concerts at the Stuttgart Bachwoche under the direction of Hans-Christoph Rademann and Jos van Veldhoven. Highlights of her choral career so far include performances of Arvo Pärt’s Te Deum with Ivan Fisher, J.S. Bach’s St Matthew Passion under the baton of Stephen Layton, the Duruflé Requiem with Robin Ticciati, and Wagner’s Parsifal with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle.
Ella is currently studying Historical Singing at the Hochschule für Künste in Bremen under the tutelage of Benno Schachtner and Bettina Pahn. Ella’s passion for early music began at the University of Auckland, singing with the Age of Discovery ensemble. One of her performance highlights in New Zealand was a radical re-staging and recomposition of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Unstuck Opera. This sparked an interest in the interplay between early music and the modern age, a theme that she has been able to explore further through her work with Berlin-based ensemble Les Fleurs du Mal and ongoing interdisciplinary projects with the other faculties at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen.
Ella performs regularly with Berlin-based lutenist Max Hattwich, as well as colleagues from the early music scene in Bremen. In 2019 she was invited to perform at the Alte Musik Fest Friedenau in Berlin, including a sold-out opening concert exploring the themes of gender identity and expression.