Elizabeth Futral



Biography

Elizabeth Futral has established herself as one of the major coloratura sopranos in the world today. With her stunning vocalism and vast dramatic range, she has embraced a diverse repertoire that includes Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart, Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, Verdi, Glass, and Previn. Of her spectacular debut at the Metropolitan Opera in Lucia di Lammermoor, The New York Times wrote: "Her singing was sure, virtuoso and yet still lighted by humanity . . . "

This season will see Ms. Futral as Violetta in La traviata with Lyric Opera Baltimore, the Emilie suite at Carnegie Hall with Avanti Chamber Orchestra from Finland, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Washington National Opera, as well as a return to Music of the Baroque for Handel's L'Allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato. Future season promise returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Colorado, and debuts with the Lincoln Center Festival and Glimmerglass Opera.

Recently, Elizabeth has sung the title role in the American premier of Emilie with the Spoleto Festival, the four heroines in Les Contes d'Hoffmann with Florida Grand Opera, the title role in Thaïs with Teatro Municipal de Santiago, and Violetta in La traviata with Minnesota Opera, as well as he recitals with Opera Birmingham, The Vocal Arts Society in Washington, DC, and the George London Foundation, Euridice in Orpheus and Euridice with Urban Arias, as well as Handel's Messiah with Music of the Baroque.

In the 2009-2010 season, Elizabeth Futral celebrated the art of the recital with a solo appearance at North Central College and in tandem with baritone Nathan Gunn at Dominican University. The soprano returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago for Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, and made a much-anticipated reappearance at Kentucky Opera for Violetta in La traviata, a role she essayed later in the season with San Diego Opera. On the concert scene, Ms. Futral joined Jane Glover and Music of the Baroque for the title role in Handel's Acis and Galatea. She performed one of her favorite works, Strauss' Four Last Songs, with the Tucson Symphony, on a program also featuring the world premiere of Stephen Paulus' Three Poems of Dylan Thomas. The season completed with a concert performance of Ricky Ian Gordon's The Grapes of Wrath with the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall.

Elizabeth Futral spent the 2008-2009 season on some of the world's greatest stages. She opened Washington National Opera's season in one of her most cherished roles, Violetta in La traviata, and also performed Violetta with Los Angeles Opera and San Francisco Opera later in the season. At Opera de Oviedo, she made her role debut as Anne Trulove in The Rake's Progress. With Houston Grand Opera, Ms. Futral starred in the world premiere of Andre Previn's Brief Encounter, and with Deutsche Oper Berlin, she was seen in La traviata. In Athens, Ms. Futral joined the Megaron for Thaïs. May of 2009 found her as Elaisa in Il Giuramento with Washington Concert Opera.

Ms. Futral began the 2007-08 season as Violetta in La traviata at Lyric Opera of Chicago. She was heard in recital with the Atlanta Boy Choir in October and with Margo Garrett at Julliard in January 2008. She also appeared in a gala concert with Opera Louisiane featuring Paul Groves, Susan Graham, and Jeffrey Wells, among others. In November 2007, Ms. Futral returned to Pittsburgh Opera as Adina in L'elisir d'amore. On the concert stage she appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra for Stephen Paulus' To be certain of the dawn with Osmo Vänskä conducting. In 2008, Ms. Futral began a tour of Ricky Ian Gordon's Orpheus & Euridice with stops in Long Beach, California and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Also in 2008, Ms. Futral joined San Diego Opera to star in I Pagliacci alongside José Cura and sang the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor at Ft. Worth Opera.

Her 2006-2007 appearances included: the Metropolitan Opera for the world premiere of Tan Dun's new opera The First Emperor, New York City Opera for the title role in Semele, Baltimore Opera for Pamira in Rossini's L'assedio di Corinto, Michigan Opera Theatre as Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and with Vienna's Theater an der Wien as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro.

Recent engagements include a return to the Metropolitan Opera for the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, Washington National Opera for Adina in L'elisir d'amore, Los Angeles' Musica Angelica as Galatea in Acis and Galatea, Los Angeles Opera as Violetta in La traviata and with Vancouver Opera in a concert performance of I Puritani.

She catapulted to stardom in 1994 in a critically acclaimed production of Delibes' Lakmé, at the New York City Opera. In 1996, she was invited to the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, the city of Rossini's birth, to sing the title role in Matilde di Shabran, in the first production of this opera in 175 years. During the same year, she starred as Catherine in Meyerbeer's rarely performed L'Etoile du nord at the Wexford Festival. Two years later, Ms. Futral scored a major triumph at the San Francisco Opera when she originated the role of Stella in the world premiere of Sir André Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire.

Ms. Futral has garnered raves at the world's greatest opera houses in such roles as Gilda, Juliette, Lakmé, Lucia, Nanetta, Mélisande, Romilda, and Violetta. She dazzled audiences and critics with her debut at the Los Angeles Opera as Cleopatra in Francisco Negrin's acclaimed production of Handel's Giulio Cesare. This was followed by her highly anticipated return to the New York City Opera, where she starred in the title role of the company's new production of Douglas Moore's classic American opera, The Ballad of Baby Doe. She sang Nannetta in a new production of Verdi's Falstaff at the Bayerische Staatsoper under the direction of Zubin Mehta. She opened the 2002-2003 Washington Opera season as Lucia di Lammermoor to tremendous acclaim and sang her first performances of Marie in La Fille du régiment with the Vancouver Opera.

Ms. Futral has a long and close association with the Lyric Opera of Chicago where she began her career. Of the many roles she has sung there, it is of special note that she has performed both Gianetta and Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore, and Barbarina and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro. In 2002-2003 season she returned to sing the title role in Handel's Partenope.

Recently Ms. Futral performed the world premier of Ricky Ian Gordon's Orpheus and Euridice, a song cycle for piano, soprano, and clarinet, as part of Great Performers at Lincoln Center. Highlights of past seasons include La traviata with Berlin State Opera; Rigoletto at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; Elvira in I Puritani with the Baltimore Opera; the title role in Daphne with the New York City Opera; Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier with Los Angeles Opera; touring to Japan with the Bayerische Staatsoper as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro conducted by Zubin Mehta; the Brahms Requiem and Krenek's Die Nachtigall with the San Francisco Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas; Lucia di Lammermoor with Dallas Opera conducted by Richard Bonynge, and with Teatro Municipal in Santiago; and Curley's Wife in Of Mice and Men with Houston Grand Opera. Ms. Futral sang her first performances of Manon under the baton of Emmanuel Joel and Konstanze in a new production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail directed by James Robinson and conducted by the company's music director, Patrick Summers, both with the Houston Grand Opera. She reprised the role in concert performances of this opera with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Sir Colin Davis. Recitals have included visits to Chicago, Washington, DC, Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Philadelphia.

Elizabeth Futral made her New York Philharmonic debut in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 under the direction of Zubin Mehta, has performed in a concert version of Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini with the London Symphony conducted by Sir Colin Davis, and was a guest artist on the 2000 New Year's Eve Gala Concert with the Berlin Philharmonic under the direction of Claudio Abbado released on DVD by Euroarts Music International. The list of distinguished conductors with whom Ms. Futral has collaborated also includes Daniel Barenboim, Evelino Pidò, Edoardo Müller Herbert Blomstedt, Sir André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, and Harry Bicket.

Her most recent recording release was Ricky Ian Gordon's Orpheus and Euridice for Sh-K-Boom Records. Ms. Futral's extensive discography includes Meyerbeer's L'Etoile du nord for Marco Polo, Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, and Ravel's L'Enfant et les sortilèges conducted by Maestro Previn for Deutsche Grammophon, and Philip Glass's Hydrogen Jukebox for Euphorbia Records. She has recorded Rossini's Otello and Zelmira, Pacini's Carlo di Borgogna, and The Supreme Decorator for Opera Rara, Lucia di Lammermoor and a solo aria recital for Chandos as part of their "Opera in English" series. Ms. Futral can also be heard on Sweethearts, a collection of operetta favorites on Newport Classics. Elizabeth Futral can be seen as Stella in the video of A Streetcar Named Desire on the Kultur label, and has been featured on Live From Lincoln Center and A&E's Breakfast With the Arts.

October 2011
Elizabeth Futral