The Kennedy Center

Elizabeth Bishop


American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop has been praised by Opera News for her “gorgeous voice” and is in equal demand for both opera and concert performances across the country. With a “burgundy mezzo-soprano” the Washington Post describes as “a rich well of color and emotion,” audiences and critics alike recognize her as one of this country’s predominant singing actresses.


Elizabeth Bishop’s 2012-13 season engagements include a return to the Metropolitan Opera for its productions of Les Troyens and Das Rheingold, and as Mère Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites; to the roster of Washington National Opera; singing Sieglinde in Act One of Die Walküre and Isolde’s  “Liebestod” from Tristan und Isolde in concert for North Carolina Opera; Azucena in Il trovatore with Utah Opera; and as soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with the Grand Teton Music Festival, under Donald Runnicles. Her 2013-14 engagements currently include singing as mezzo soloist with Richmond Symphony in Berlioz’ La Damnation de Faust.


Recently she returned to the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in Das Rheingold. With that illustrious company she also reprised Fenena in Nabucco, sang as Second Norn in Götterdämmerung, and in the title role of Iphigenie en Tauride. She returned to Washington Concert Opera to sing Principessa in Adriana Lecouvreur; and to Pittsburgh Opera as Mère Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites.


Other recent successes include appearing as Fricka in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre with San Francisco Opera; as soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; in Verdi’s Requiem with Columbus Symphony Orchestra; as Second Norn in Götterdämmerung, Meg Page in Falstaff and Gertrude in Hamlet, all for Washington National Opera; Amneris in Aida with Atlanta Opera; as soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with Utah Symphony, also New Jersey Symphony Orchestra; Adalgisa in Norma at the Chautauqua Institution; Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra; her return to the Metropolitan Opera as Second Norn in Götterdämmerung; Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath with Pittsburgh Opera, and Magdalene in a concert performance of Der Meistersinger with the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. She also appeared as soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; Messiah with National Philharmonic; Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen with Portland Symphony Orchestra in Maine; Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with both the Florida Orchestra and the Chautauqua Institution; and sang in concert at the Arizona MusicFest.


Career highlights include multiple appearances with Los Angeles Opera as Frau Marthe Rull in Der zerbrochene Krug, Third Zofe in Der Zwerg, and Grandmother Burjya in Jen?fa. She has garnered critical acclaim in recent seasons with appearances as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at the Grand Teton Music Festival, under Donald Runnicles; Adalgisa in Norma with Portland Opera; Fricka in Die Walküre with Washington National Opera; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with both the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Spano, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, under Charles Dutoit.


Since her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1994, Elizabeth Bishop has returned several times in such roles as Fenena in Nabucco, Venus in Tannhäuser, Mère Marie in Dialogues des Carmélites, and for its productions of War and Peace and Iphigenie en Tauride. She is a regular presence at Washington National Opera, having appeared as Eboli in Don Carlo, the leading role of the Marquise de Merteuil in Conrad Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons, Fricka in Das Rheingold, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, and Emilia in Otello. A former Adler Fellow and member of its Merola Opera Program, Ms. Bishop has returned to San Francisco Opera to sing Tisbe in La Cenerentola, the Mother in Harvey Milk (recorded for the Teldec label), Antonia’s Mother in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and Second Lady in Die Zauberflöte. Other notable U.S. engagements include appearances as both Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana and Sara in Roberto Devereux with Washington Concert Opera; Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible with Mobile Opera; Waltraute in Götterdämmerung with Dallas Opera; and Offred in the North American premiere of Poul Ruder’s The Handmaid’s Tale with Minnesota Opera. International opera credits include principal roles with Teatro Carlo Fenice, Pacific Opera Victoria, and Deutsche Oper Berlin.


Ms. Bishop’s concert stage career includes performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, under the baton of Roger Norrington; and in Ligeti’s Requiem, under Esa-Pekka Salonen. She has performed Mozart’s “Coronation” Mass, and both Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and Liebestod with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; Mozart’s Requiem with the National Philharmonic, and Mass in C Minor with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and Symphony No. 2 with the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra; and Berlioz’s Les Nuits d’été with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. She was engaged for further performances of Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the Malaysian Philharmonic, again with Donald Runnicles; sang Messiah with Nicholas McGegan conducting the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra; Duruflé’s Requiem with the National Symphony Orchestra; Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Louisville Symphony, and Lobgesang with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; Verdi’s Requiem with both National Philharmonic and The Washington Chorus; and Bach’s Magnificat with Phoenix Symphony.


Ms. Bishop has also appeared in solo recitals in both San Francisco and Tokyo as well as for the United States Supreme Court in Washington, DC. She is a former member of the Juilliard Opera Center and a winner of the 1993 Metropolitan National Council Auditions.

July 2013

Elizabeth Bishop