Canadian soprano Erin Wall

Soprano Erin Wall, who made regular appearances at the Edinburgh International Festival and was a featured soloist in the seasons of both the RSNO and BBC SSO, has died at the age of 44. She had been suffering from breast cancer in recent years but continued to work during much of her treatment.

A regular choice of soloist for big orchestral pieces including Mahler Eight, Britten’s War Requiem, and the Four Last Songs of Strauss by conductors Sir Andrew Davies, Sir Donald Runnicles and Peter Oundjian, Wall’s performance as Ellen Orford in Britten’s Peter Grimes is one of the highlights of the new Chandos recording of Peter Grimes reviewed elsewhere on Vox Carnyx.

Conductor Ed Gardner’s concert performance of Grimes was a highlight of the 2017 Usher Hall programme at EIF, a festival in which Wall also sang in the rather rarer King Olaf by Elgar. She returned in 2019 to appear as one of the Norns in Gotterdammerung, the culmination of Wagner’s Ring cycle, alongside Karen Cargill and Ronnita Miller. In between she sang Britten’s War Requiem with the RSNO at the end of the 2018 BBC Proms at the end of the tenure of music director Peter Oundjian.

A finalist in Cardiff Singer of the World in 2003, Wall’s big break came a year later when, as understudy, she was called up to replace Karita Mattila as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Chicago on the opening night. It was a role she would go on to play at the Met in New York.