Madeleine Shaw

Madeleine Shaw

"Shaw’s brighter tone glowed with a Wagnerian penumbra befitting a piece that owes more to Parsifal than the English oratorio.” [Dream of Gerontius]

The Guardian

Representation: General Management

Photo: Zoe Barling


Madeleine studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and at the National Opera Studio supported by English National Opera, she was subsequently on the young artist programme at ENO, for whom she has sung several roles over the recent seasons.   Madeleine has also appeared in principle roles at Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera, Opera North and on the concert platform has guested with Noseda, Sir Andrew Davis, Edward Gardner and has made regular appearances with the Hallé Orchestra and Sir Mark Elder.


Full Biography

Samling Artist Madeleine Shaw studied at the RSAMD and the National Opera Studio supported by English National Opera. Madeleine was subsequently part of the Young Singers Programme at ENO.

Solo performances include Tippett A Child of our Time at The Sage (Zehetmair), Mozart Requiem in Spain (John Eliot Gardiner), Debussy La Demoiselle Élue with BBC National Orchestra of Wales (Thierry Fisher) and Glagolitic Mass with the Hallé Orchestra (Elder).  Further concert engagements include Elgar Sea Pictures, Copland In the Beginning, Bach B Minor Mass, Vaughan Williams Serenade to Music at the Edinburgh International Festival, Bach Christmas Oratorio, Tavener Lamentation for Jerusalem in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and St Matthew Passion in Cambridge, Duruflé Requiem and Haydn Nelson Mass with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Duruflé Requiem at the Sage, Gateshead, Verdi Requiem in Ely and Gloucester Cathedral, Messiah with the Hallé Orchestra and in Norway (Sandefjord Kammerchor), Spain (Oviedo Cathedral), and at the Royal Festival Hall and Royal Albert Hall and The Three Cornered Hat with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Opera in concert engagements have included Flowermaiden/Squire 2/Voice from Above Parsifal (BBC Proms) and Wellgunde Götterdämmerung, with the Hallé Orchestra (Elder), Emilia Otello with the BBC Philharmonic (Noseda), She-Ancient A Midsummer Marriage with BBC Symphony Orchestra (Andrew Davis/BBC Prom), Giovanna Rigoletto with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican (Noseda) and Siegrune Die Walküre and Wellgunde Götterdämmerung for Opera North.

Madeleine made her Covent Garden debut as Forester’s Wife/Owl The Cunning Little Vixen and has subsequently returned to sing Rossweisse Die Walküre.  At English National Opera her roles have included Annina Der Rosenkavalier, Beggar Woman Death in Venice (also at the Holland Festival, La Monnaie and at La Scala, Milan), Second Lady The Magic Flute, Maddalena Rigoletto, Mercedes Carmen, Kate Pinkerton Madama Butterfly, 1st Witch in After Dido (a joint venture by ENO/The Young Vic) and performances of songs by Kurt Weill and Samuel Barber also at The Young Vic.

Her operatic repertoire further includes Juno La Calisto and Medea Giasone with the Early Opera Company (Christian Curnyn) and Cretan Woman in Idomeneo at the Salzburg Spring Festival, in Berlin and Lucerne with Sir Simon Rattle and Adonella in Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini for Opera Holland Park, Magdalene Die Meistersinger for ENO, Dream of Gerontius with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (Petrenko), as well as Elijah in Southwell Minster, Handel Samson with the Irish Baroque Orchestra (Matthew Halls), Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall,  a return to Opera North as Wellgunde Das Rheingold/Götterdämmerung and Rossweisse Die Walküre in their complete Ring Cycles and Mahler 8th Symphony at the Leeds International Concert Season.   Recent engagements include Beethoven 9th Symphony, Messiah and Child of our Time with the Hallé Orchestra and Berlioz La Mort de Cléopatre with the RLPO, Maddalena Rigoletto for ENO and Annina Der Rosenkavalier for WNO. Tippett A Child of Our Time with the Hallé Orchestra and Verdi Requiem (Ryan Wigglesworth) at the St. Endellion Festival.

Engagements in 2017/2018 include Siegrune Die Walküre at the Edinburgh International Festival (Sir Andrew Davis), Witch Hänsel und Gretel in Salisbury, Messiah at Exeter Cathedral, Opera Gala with the CBSO, Wesendonck Lieder with the RPO at Cadogan Hall, Dream of Gerontius with Boston Philharmonic in the US, and the title role in the world première of Elena Langer’s Rhondda Rips It Up! with WNO.

Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to make sure you receive the most up to date version.  Email: Elin Jones



Rhondda Rips it Up!

June 7th, 2018

Madeleine Shaw returns to WNO as the suffragette, Lady Rhondda

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March 16th, 2017

Hazard Chase artists celebrate the culmination of the religious calendar

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Wagner’s RING on BBC iPlayer

February 20th, 2017

The Opera North complete Ring cycle is now available to stream on BBC iPlayer

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The Ring Cycle – Wagner’s Epic Masterpiece

April 19th, 2016

Mark Le Brocq, Giselle Allen and Madeleine Shaw feature in Opera North’s semi-staged production of Wagner’s complete Ring Cycle.

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“Madeleine Shaw, who seems to become an ever more accomplished singer in range and tone, was a very fine Annina”
Rian Evans, Opera Magazine (August 2017)

Handel SAMSON, Irish Baroque Orchestra

“Madeleine Shaw excelled as Micah; mellifluous, balanced and relaxed, she conveyed her heartfelt concern for Samson very well. There was deep nobility to the phrasing of “Ye sons of Israel, now lament” while the aria at the end of act one “Then long eternity” was profoundly moving.”
Andrew Larkin, Bachtrack (January 2016)

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“The mezzo Madeleine Shaw was a late replacement, but made one sit upright from her first entry. The Angel is traditionally cast with a plummier, darker voice, though Shaw’s brighter tone glowed with a Wagnerian penumbra befitting a piece that owes more to Parsifal than the English oratorio.”
Alfred Hickling, The Guardian (June 2015)

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Tippett A MIDSUMMER MARRIAGE, BBC Symphony Orchestra (Andrew Davis), BBC Proms

“…while Madeleine Shaw’s distinctive, sinewy mezzo and verbal clarity made one wish, not for the first time, that the composer had given a fairer crack of the whip to She-Ancient.  Shaw’s is a shining talent: a potential Amneris for the notebook”
Christopher Webber, Opera Magazine (Oct 2013)

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Handel IL PASTOR FIDO  – Harmonia Mundi CD

“…the most theatrically gripping singing comes from mezzo, Madeleine Shaw as Dorinda, above all in her haunting aria of masochistic devotion after she has been wounded by the idiotic Silvio’s arrow.”
Richard Wigmore, Gramophone Magazine (June 2012)

“The young cast turn in more than creditable performances, especially so in the case of the Eurilla of Katherine Manley, projected with considerable vocal allure, and the lovely Dorinda of the mezzo Madeleine Shaw.  This is an exceptional voice with a lustrous, burnished quality, and its owner uses exquisite mezza voce and trills with great stylistic awareness”
Brian Robins, Opera Magazine (April 2012)

R. Strauss DER ROSENKAVALIER – English National Opera

“Adrian Thompson (Valzacchi) and Madeleine Shaw (Annina) are superb, vocally and dramatically, individually as well as in their double act.”
Musical Criticism, Agnes Kory (30 Jan 2012)

“Adrian Thompson and Madeleine Shaw made an exceptionally slimy pair of intriguers”
Russ McDonald, Opera Magazine (April 2012)

Verdi OTELLO – BBC Philharmonic (Noseda/Bridgewater Hall)

“…young Madeleine Shaw’s Emilia, strong and true”
The Times, Hilary Finch (19 April 2011)

A CHILD OF OUR TIME – Northern Sinfonia (Zehetmair/The Sage)

“Madeleine Shaw is a rising young singer with the kind of plush contralto you do not hear very often”
The Guardian, Alfred Hickling (27 Sept 2010)

RIGOLETTO – English National Opera (2009)

“Madeleine Shaw (Maddalena) made much of this small role, bringing to it a rounded fullness of tone..”
Musical Criticism, Alexandra Coghlan (24 Sept 2009)

“Madeleine Shaw impresses as the selectively susceptible Maddalena”
The Times, Richard Morrison (23 Sept 2009)

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Discography & Repertoire



Cast includes Toby Spence (Philip), Alan Opie (The Devil), Laine (Elin Manahan Thomas), Madeleine Shaw (Jacqueline) and Catherine Wyn-Rogers (Joan).  Rory MacDonald conducts the BBC National Orchestra & Chorus of Wales.

CHANDOS (2013)

Handel – IL PASTOR FIDO (1712 version) Cast includes Lucy Crowe (Amarilli), Katherine Manley (Eurilla), Madeleine Shaw (Dorinda), Clint van der Linde (Silvio) with La Nuova Musica conducted by David Bates.


Artist Manager

John McHugh (Cambridge)
01223 706024

Assistant Artist Manager

Elin Jones (Cambridge)
01223 706026