Hailed by the Albany Times Union as, “Especially impressive.... even while delivering some swooping and percussive vocal affects,” soprano Delea Shand is dedicated to performing and promoting new music.
Since moving to London in 2015, she's performed several times as a soloist with the Central Band of the Royal British Legion, with Bafta award winning conductor David Cole. Recently, she devised and performed in Ancient Voices of Women, a concert of music for solo voice by female composers. With support from Mothers Who Make and Arts Council England, Delea is developing graphic scores in collaboration with her children. She has also performed with the new music ensembles New London Chamber Choir and the Vocal Constructivists.
Recently, Delea started performing stand up comedy on the open mic circuit in London, where she sings opera and plays the accordion. She's taken several puppet making courses at the Little Angel Theatre and was a puppeteer for the Arcola's production of Bluebeard's Castle, as part of the Grimeborn Opera Festival.
November 2014 marked the release of There Was A Child Went Forth: Songs of Nils Vigeland, which is available on CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes. Funded through a successful crowdfunding campaign, and recorded at Oktaven Audio, with Ryan Streber, the CD is a collection of 19 unpublished songs by Nils Vigeland, with texts by Whitman, Thoreau, Joyce, Milosz, Clough, Hopkins, Yeats, Keats and Dickenson, as well as five Shaker songs.
Having lived in New York City for several years, Delea collaborated, curated, and performed with: Opera on Tap, Anti-Social Music, Tactus Ensemble, Color Field Ensemble, as well as Manhattan School of Music’s Symphony Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble. In New York, she produced Opera on Tap’s contemporary music ensemble, New Brew. With Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, she performed at the Issue Project Room as part of the Philip Glass: Music with Friends series. In Philadephia, she made her debut with Orchestra 2001, at their John Cage Centennial concert series. Always thrilled to premiere new works, Delea was delighted to be a soloist with Opera America's Songbook Series. She performed regularly at new music venues and concert series around the city, including: OPERAtion Brooklyn/Opera Grows in Brooklyn at Galapagos Art Space; The Phoenix Concerts at the church of Saint Matthew and Saint Timothy; BEAT Fest (Brooklyn Emerging Artists in Theatre); Wesley Stace’s Cabinet of Wonders at City Winery; Contagious Sounds at the Gershwin Hotel; Composer’s Voice at Jan Hus Church; as well as concerts at Symphony Space (Thalia); Webster Hall, Cornelia Street, The Tank, and Barbes. She is a proud Banglewood alum, having been a fellow at the Bang on a Can summer festival at MassMoCA.
A dedicated music educator, Delea was a teaching artist with the Metropolitan Opera Guild's Urban Voices Choral Initiative. Additionally, she developed the curricula for two children's music programs through the volunteer organization, New York Cares, where she taught at an after-school program in Manhattan, and a homeless shelter in the Bronx. She holds a Master’s Degree in Contemporary Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Lucy Shelton. She also holds a Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Music from the University of Manitoba, where she studied with Tracy Dahl; a Post Graduate Diploma from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London; and a Bachelor of Art, in English and Drama, from the University of Calgary. Having lived in Calgary, Winnipeg, and New York City, Delea now lives in London, England, with her husband Gus and their two children.