Born in St. Petersburg, Ilona Domnich studied piano before being spotted by the legendary singing teacher Vera Rosza, who brought her to London on a vocal scholarship at the Royal College of Music. She has taken leading roles with English National Opera (Rosina/Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Gilda/Rigoletto), Grange Park Opera (Tatyana/Eugene Onegin, Jaqueline/Fortunio) and English Touring Opera (Pamina/Die Zauberflöte, Zerlina/Don Giovanni, Mimi/La Bohème and all four heroines/Contes d’Hoffmann) with further roles including and Glauce/Medea, Countess/Le Nozze di Figaro, Magda/La Rondine, title role/Die Lustige Witwe, Blonde/Die Enführung aus dem serial and Melisande/Pelleas et Melisande.
Ilona has developed close relationships with the Southbank Sinfonia, RSNO and the Oxford Lieder Festival (including recitals with Sholto Kynoch). Her other festival appearances include Aldeburgh, Ryedale, Menton, Jersey, Buxton, Anghiari, Mallorca, Jerusalem and Tenerife. Recent concert highlights include recitals with pianist Angela Hewitt; Sheherazade with the St Petersburg Philharmonic; Viennese galas with the CBSO, Halle and Brighton Symphony Orchestra; Mystic Trumpeter by Holst with BBCCO, appearances on BBC Radio 4 on ‘Woman’s Hour’ and a live Radio 3 broadcast for International Women’s Day with the BBCCO premiere of 3 songs by Joanna Müller-Hermann and Mariana Martinez. Ilona has also sung opera galas in Dubai, Tokyo, Lebanon, St. Petersburg, Paris and across the UK.
Her recordings include an opera CD, Surrender, with the baritone Leo Nucci on Signum, Vaughan Williams’ film score for Scott of the Antarctic with the RSNO, Le Secret with Quartz, rare works by Shostakovich with Braga records, Faure’s Requiem with OSJ and Three orchestral songs by the English composer Michael Csanyi-Wills with Toccata Classics.
Future engagements include War Requiem with the RPO in Coventry Cathedral, another recording with the RNSO, recitals with Alexander Melnikov, Benjamin Frith and the Gould Piano Trio, Weinberg recitals at Wigmore Hall, Schostakovich Festival in Gohrisch, Schubert Stabat Mater with OSJ, Brahms Requiem with Brandenburg Choir, and a tour of her own one-woman cabaret show based on songs by Marlene Dietrich, Jacques Brell and Edith Piaf. Ilona was also preparing new opera roles concentrating on bel canto repertoire with Montserrat Caballé until she passed away last October.