American lyric soprano Isabel Merat was born on March 27th, 2002 in Queens, New York, the daughter of Mercedes and Jose Merat. At an early age, she began to study voice and quickly developed an extensive repertoire.
While attending The Mary Louis Academy, a college preparatory private school, she received the Audrey McLean Vocal Scholar Award for her performances three years in a row. She continued her vocal studies with her private teachers, Dr. Sherry Overholt, who has combined a long and successful career of operatic and concert performances with teaching positions, and Jennifer Grimaldi, the acclaimed soprano soloist, who recognized Isabel’s gifts and strongly encouraged her to pursue a musical career.
Isabel is currently studying vocal performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio under the direction of Loraine Manz and is expected to graduate with a Bachelor of Music in 2024. For the next two years at Oberlin, Isabel will be studying with dramatic soprano Mathilda Edge. Ms. Merat received a Conservatory Dean's Merit Scholarship and Oberlin College Grants in recognition of her outstanding talent and musical promise. While studying at Oberlin Conservatory, Isabel has completed two departmental recitals and will be preparing for her junior recital in the 2022-2023 academic year. She also participated in her first collaboration with double bassist Andrew Crapitto in his senior recital. Isabel will be making her Oberlin Opera debut as Fanchette in Jacques Offenbach’s Le Mariage aux Lanternes this November, where she will work with Director of Oberlin Opera Theater productions Jonathon Field and Conductor and Oberlin alumnus Joseph Mechavich. In addition to her Oberlin Opera debut, Isabel will also be making her debut at Carnegie Hall this December while on tour with Oberlin performing Beethoven's 9th Symphony for the United Nation's Gala Concert. Isabel will also be performing with Oberlin as a soloist in Händel's Messiah HWV 56. Isabel is a current member of Oberlin Conservatory's Chamber Singers ensemble.
Isabel is the chair of the Latinx Music Union (LMU), "a cultural student organization that works to create space on campus to share Latinx culture through music". LMU had the honor of bringing 5x Grammy winner Alex Cuba to Oberlin’s campus as a guest artist this past spring. Additionally, Isabel is one of Oberlin's Conservatory Peer Advising Leaders. Outside of Oberlin, Isabel is a writer and content creator for Opera Culture News & Magazine, an international opera news and magazine company based in New York City, where she had the honor of interviewing composer and conductor Tania León. Isabel also works part-time as a chorister at First United Methodist Church in Oberlin, Ohio.
Isabel has performed at the Queens Summer Vocal Institute and was chosen to participate in a master class with Christine Goerke, the American dramatic soprano. Isabel is a two-time, first-place winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition at Columbia University and was also awarded first place at the Long Island Society’s Annual Young Artists Competition. She was selected as one of the top three vocalists in the 2019 Schmidt Vocal Competition. In that same year, Isabel made her Broadway debut at the Nederlander Theatre, having personally been chosen by Kristin Chenoweth to join her as a guest performer in her show, “For the Girls”. In her Broadway debut, Isabel got to work with American Broadway producer and director Richard Jay-Alexander. Since then Isabel has been privileged to participate in private master classes with world-renowned sopranos Denyce Graves and Nadine Sierra. Most recently Isabel participated in the program Classical Singing and New York in June (CSNY in June) which took place at the Manhattan School of Music.