B i o g r a p h y
Soprano Lisa Newill-Smith’s Despina was described by the Hastings Observer as “one of the must subtle performances I can recall, splendidly sung and totally alive to the text.”
2019/2020 highlights including several role debuts as Stephanie (To Hell and Back), Daniel (Susanna) with the Richmond Oratorio Society and Servilia with Shoestring Opera Melbourne in Berlin. Last season she sang Queen Gwenevere in the world premiere of Keith Beal’s Merlin, a jump-in Despina (Cosí fan tutte), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and Echo (Ariadne auf Naxos). In 2016, Lisa sang Gretel with Alltagsoper, later jumping in for the Royal Antwerp Conservatoire, and had her debut as Donna Elvira in Alltagsoper’s premiere performance. In 2014, she premiered a new opera, Absolved Passions by Scottish composer David Wishart at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Other operatic and performance highlights include Hélène (Hin und Zurück), Prima cercatrice (Suor Angelica), Prima Ancella (Medea), Josephine (H.M.S. Pinafore) and Wanda (La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein), as well as performances with the J. Strauss Orchester Wiesbaden and Opera Classica Europa, the Trentino Music Academy, the Greek Opera Studio and the Berlin Opera Studio in Syros and Bayreuth.
Lisa has sung in masterclasses with Miriam Gauci, Dame Felicity Lott, and Renata Scotto. Her oratorio and concert works include Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Mozart’s Requiem in D minor and Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem. Lisa has been a finalist in the Chicago Oratorio Award with the American Prize, the Opera Classica Europa competition, and the Iuventas Canti Competition in Slovakia. She is passionate about performing works by women, and is involved in several groups working towards that. Lisa is from Virginia, USA and is currently based in Berlin, Germany. For more information visit