Elizabeth Llewellyn

Elizabeth Llewellyn

SOPRANO
"...a voice of pure operatic joy. Her soprano timbre, rich, powerful and faintly smoky, was irresistibly seductive and multi-layered"

(La Rondine debut, WhatsOnStage, June 2017)


Representation: General Management

Credit: Shirley Suarez

Overview

British soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn has established herself firmly as a Puccinian of note, this season singing her seventh Puccini role in nine years – Manon Lescaut. Following her operatic debut at English National Opera in 2010 Elizabeth was named “best newcomer in opera”, and has since distinguished herself as a notable lyrico-spinto soprano on the international stage, having performed principal roles at Seattle Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Bergen National Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Theater Magdeburg, and Opera Holland Park.

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Full Biography

London-born Elizabeth studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Opera Studio, supported by the Peter Moores Foundation. After completing the ENO Opera Works training programme, she created the role of Ludovina in the premiere of Glyndebourne Festival’s new opera The Yellow Sofa.

Elizabeth made her operatic debut as Mimì in Jonathan Miller’s production of La Bohème at the English National Opera in London (which led to her being named as “Best newcomer in opera in 2010” by The Telegraph). The following year, Elizabeth caused a sensation when she returned to the ENO when she jumped-in on opening night as the Countess in their new production of The Marriage of Figaro, directed by Fiona Shaw, a role which earned her uniformly glowing reviews.

Recently, Elizabeth has established herself as a notable lyrico spinto soprano, singing the title role in Puccini’s Tosca, and the role of Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin for Theater Magdeburg, Germany. Elizabeth was also nominated for “Singer of the Year 2013” in OpernWelt magazine for her portrayal of Amelia in Simon Boccangera (for which she stepped in to sing the role again with Sir Mark Elder/Hallé Orchestra). Elizabeth sang the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Giorgetta Il Tabarro for the Royal Danish Opera, and recently returned there to make her acclaimed debut in the title role of Madama Butterfly.

Other roles include Magda de Civry La Rondine (Opera Holland Park); Fiordiligi Così fan tutte (Theater Magdeburg; Opera Holland Park), Contessa Le Nozze di Figaro (ENO; Opera Holland Park); Governess The Turn of the Screw (Arcola Theatre); Donna Elvira Don Giovanni (Theater Magdeburg; Bergen National Opera); Bess Porgy and Bess (Royal Danish Opera; Seattle Opera); title role in The Merry Widow (Cape Town Opera); title role in The Iris Murder (Hebrides Ensemble).

As well as a successful Rosenblatt Recital, Elizabeth’s concert appearances have included a Gala Concert with Joseph Calleja recorded for Classic FM, Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with Esa-Pekka Salonen, Verdi’s Requiem, Britten’s War Requiem, Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with Ryan Wigglesworth, and a live performance of Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder on BBC Radio 3 with Donald Runnicles/BBCSSO. Recently, Elizabeth has recorded Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony with BBCSO, and the role of Eigen in Elgar’s Caractacus for Hyperion, both under the baton of Martyn Brabbins.

Elizabeth won the inaugural Voice of Black Opera Competition / Sir Willard White Award in 2009, and she was the opera nominee for the prestigious Breakthrough Award at the 2013 Times/Sky Arts Southbank Awards.

Recent and future engagements include Elizabeth’s US debut with Seattle Opera as Bess Porgy and Bess, Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (title role), Verdi’s Luisa Miller (title role), and Ellen Orford Peter Grimes.

Artist websitewww.elizabethllewellyn.com

Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version. Email: Evie Parker

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News

New signing: Elizabeth Llewellyn

September 13th, 2018

British soprano joins the Hazard Chase vocal roster

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Reviews

Cio-Cio San / Madama Butterfly – (Royal Danish Opera)

” This was an impressive role debut from Elizabeth Llewellyn. She has clearly worked hard on Butterfly and appears to have internalised the role. She sounded natural in the low tessituras from which the role creeps upwards and had the power to soar above the orchestra in Act II. […] Most impressive in an overall sense was the vocal charisma she brought to the role, even when sentiments were at their darkest.”
Andrew Mellor, Opera Now (July/August 2018)

“Llewellyn’s soprano has wonderful fullness and her all-embracing and sweet Butterfly catches Act 1 in the second and third acts so you feel the heartbreaking longing and the unbearable situation she is in. Elizabeth Llewellyn’s fine interaction with the charismatic mezzo soprano Johanne Bock [as] Suzuki, must be emphasized.”
OplevByen.dk

“…the English soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn sings brilliantly as Cio-Cio San, Madame Butterfly”
Sklassisk.dk

“Elizabeth Llewellyn’s portrayal of Cio-Cio San, better known as Madame Butterfly, was exquisite as she conveyed the personal anecdote of this geisha wife through her angelic vocals. Her beautifully layered singing reverberated through the entire room and made a world outside of her perfectly pitched notes seem obsolete.”
The Copenhagen Post

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Magda de Civry / La Rondine (Opera Holland Park), June 2017

 “Elizabeth Llewellyn is a British soprano… whose rich, lyric instrument produced refined tone at every point in her wide range and whose sense of Puccinian style was consistently impressive; she brought to the role of Magda glamour, sophistication and a voice it would be hard to match anywhere in terms of beauty and color.”
Opera News

“The aria, Doretta’s Song, is truly memorable, and especially well sung here by the British soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn, a fine Verdian possessed of a voice that effortlessly fills OHP’s big tent with gloriously unforced sounds.”
Mail on Sunday

“Llewellyn and Lippi soared again in the final duet, and…Llewellyn showed how to make it count with sheer beauty of line and a glorious sheen to the voice. This certainly showed how having a real spinto soprano in the role can count.”
Opera Today

“…Magda’s Chi il bel sogno di Doretta, which Llewellyn sings lusciously with her warm, smoky tone and gleaming high notes…Both leads rise magnificently to their passionate duet in Act III, when it becomes clear that they cannot live together, Llewellyn unleashing her Tosca voice (which she has already shown off in Germany) with plenty of “spinto” blade… A huge OHP hit: Llewellyn is a star.”
The Sunday Times

“To ice the cake in shades of yellow and scarlet, Elizabeth Llewellyn sang Magda with a voice of pure operatic joy. Her soprano timbre, rich, powerful and faintly smoky, was irresistibly seductive and multi-layered, and somehow she found heartbreak in the score’s simplicities. […]Llewellyn is an exceptional artist who oozes star quality and ought to be top of the ‘grab’ list for any half-decent UK casting director, but for some reason isn’t. Don’t miss this too-rare opportunity to hear her: she’s a great singer at the peak of her craft.”
What’s On Stage

“…a voice that threaded its lovely way seamlessly across all of Puccini’s bar-lines, never striking a less than entirely lovely sound: she is a truly special artist.”
Opera magazine

“The night belongs, though to Elizabeth Llewellyn as Magda and Matteo Lippi as Ruggero. Llewellyn has a voice like best dark chocolate in the lower register and crystal clear water in the upper. She achieves an impressive variation of tone and packs in huge amounts of immaculately acted emotion. Her reading aloud of the letter from Ruggero’s mother in the third act is a good example of impassioned excitement mixed with horror. It is a very fine performance indeed.”
Lark Reviews

“When are the big international opera houses going to wake up to the great British talent that is Elizabeth Llewellyn? With her opulent soprano – shaded middle register, full bloom at the top, cutting chest voice – she was born to sing Verdi and Puccini, and her stage presence is undeniable from the moment she steps out… our hearts are with her from the start.”
The Artsdesk

“It’s a role that requires wit, grace, elegance and the ability to float seraphically above the stave – all qualities that Llewellyn has in abundance. She plays exquisitely with the phrasing of Magda’s one showpiece aria, “Che il bel sogno di Doretta”, and rises confidently to its moments of climax, but mostly one appreciates the sheer charm and lightness of touch with which she paints the chattier aspects of her music.”
The Telegraph

“Magda is one of Puccini’s top vulnerable heroines, and the role is magnificently sung by Elizabeth Llewellyn, blessed with a voice of sumptuous range, security and fullness; you first hear her generous lower range, which as it expands higher keeps its character and flexibility. Llewellyn also has a powerful presence; she is compelling as the worldly woman taking one last chance at love, and easily strides between archetype and straightforward characterisation. In every respect she rises to the occasion.”
Classical Source

“…yet again Llewellyn…proved what a fabulous Puccini soprano she is.  The voice is a good size with a smoky lower register, a velvety middle of complex depth and a top that opens up magnificently… Her Magda was vulnerable, hopeful and determined just as she should be.”
Opera Traveller

“Elizabeth Llewellyn successfully combines sophistication and sincerity….her voice is ideally warm and lyrical, and easily fills the theatre. Opera Holland Park is lucky to have her.”
Financial Times

“The soloists were led by, and effectively overshadowed by, Elizabeth Llewellyn …She was thrilling, living the role throughout and with full vocal and dynamic range. In act three, Llewellyn and the orchestra conspired to provide moments of magic in her soliloquy as she reminisces; her pitching, too, was noteworthy in its accuracy. Magda’s love scene with Ruggero was one of the evening’s many highlights; she effectively lifted it to another level.”
Seen & Heard International

“Elizabeth Llewellyn is a perfect Magda, warm and lively yet wistful in her Act I soliloquy.”
Mark Ronan

“Singing Magda, Elizabeth Llewellyn has obvious stage presence and the vocal stature to go with it; the bottom of the voice is full and has an appealing spice to it that makes it quite distinctive, while her middle is luxuriously warm….Commitment to the role was absolute, from the grace of her salon presence, through breathless excitement in Bullier’s, to her sacrifice in the third act.”
Bachtrack

“Elizabeth Llewellyn gives a stand-out performance as Magda, showing the delicate touches of her range against the power of her top flight displayed through the bigger numbers, making this production worth a visit for her performance alone.”
The Arbiturian

“It is, however, Elizabeth Llewellyn as Magda and Matteo Lippi as Ruggero who make the evening special. Llewellyn has the precision and focus to make her vocal line feel sweet and clean, but her soprano is also blessed with richness and strength that gives both her sound and the character a good deal of weight.”
Music OMH

“As Magda, Llewellyn commands the right blend of wry self-knowledge and creamy expansive tone to cover her character’s transition from bored semi-retired performer to radiant lover and regretful realist. She also finds real warmth and tenderness in the final scenes, which carried across into the arena.”
Live Theatre UK

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TOSCA (Theater Magdeburg), October 2016

“Tosca operates entirely as a prima donna, both in her set-up jealousy as well as in her iron loyalty. Only alone with her lover is she human.

Elizabeth Llewellyn plays these changes as closely as she interprets them vocally. For coquettish and playful she finds warm heart-tones. The sound of each note is beautiful, but the vocal-acting makes her Tosca outstanding.”
Volkstimme

“In the case of “Tosca” [Theater Magdeburg] has engaged a downright dream-cast, which every major house might envy: in the first place to mention is the English soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn who sings and plays a glowing, passionate Diva.”
MDR Radio, Dieter David Scholz

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Suor Angelica & Giorgetta / IL TRITTICO – (Royal Danish Opera), 2015 & 2016

“Indeed, the Suor Angelica in particular moved me immensely, especially due to Elizabeth Llewellyn’s sensational debut in the title role… Elizabeth Llewellyn’s role debuts were absolutely thrilling. She was a fine Giorgetta but it was really as Angelica that she gave a truly overwhelming performance. The voice has a beguiling combination of duskiness and velvety warmth. It’s a good size and she rode the orchestra with ease. Her Angelica was shattering, her acting completely raw and so immediate, her vocalism so full and generous that one could not help but be moved. This is a significant role debut for this excellent British soprano, one I hope she will return to very soon.”
OperaTraveller

“Elizabeth Llewellyn [is] strong, open and pivotal as hybrid Giorgetta/Angelica”
Andrew Mellor, @operalastnight

“The young wife Giorgetta, the evening’s greatest joy and surprise, is sung by Elizabeth Llewellyn”

“[Angelica’s] aria, which is not known, is redeemed in the best way by the guest Elizabeth Llewellyn who is flown in from London… But in Suor Angelica she unfolds with the finest nuances and volume so that this neglected opera becomes interesting. Beautiful.”
Kulturkupeen.dk

“The two essential singing stars are sovereign. Bass-baritone Johan Reuter and soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn both have double-roles. Elizabeth Llewellyn creates both a challenging and promiscuous Giorgetta, scintillating among a host of stevedores, and a contrite Angelica, ostracized by both fellow prisoners and guards.”
Weekendavisen

 

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Mimi / La Bohème – (English National Opera, 2010 & Theater Magdeburg 2015)

“With her impressive vocal range and her spectacular stage presence she received applause time and again.”
Volkstimme, 2015

“Much more appealing was Elizabeth Llewellyn, who enjoyed huge success with the audience… her full lyric soprano, with its distinctive timbre and warm middle register, sailed through everything else with winning grace and excellent diction.”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

“Making her debut in the role of Mimi, Elizabeth Llewellyn adds to her growing reputation for tackling major roles. Her solos, particularly in the final scene, enable her to show off the pure soprano voice to perfection.”
Daily Express

“But it is Llewellyn, gorgeously toned and rapturous, who is the evening’s real star.”
The Guardian

“Mimì was sung by the young soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn, making her ENO debut. It’s hard to imagine a better debut: Llewellyn’s voice has a lovely warm timbre, she sang with clarity and precision, and she is a credible actress.”
Bachtrack

“As Mimi, she of the frozen extremities, the creamy-voiced Elizabeth Llewellyn continues in her career-defining role. This enchanting lyric soprano brings a vulnerability and passion to the drama… for this revival, overseen by Jonathan Miller himself, dramatic balance is restored and Llewellyn’s Mimi is able to break our hearts.”
Classical Source

“Elizabeth Llewellyn’s warm buttery soprano lent itself admirably to the role of Mimi and she handled the balance between pathos and conviction in her performance perfectly. Her exchange of arias with Hughes Jones in Act I was particularly moving, as was her final scene…”
Music OMH

“Llewellyn (…) has a distinctive and very attractive soprano – warm, passionate, large but not forced, with a mezzo hue that will surely suit her Countess for Holland Park next summer”
Opera magazine

“Rising star Elizabeth Llewellyn makes a bigger splash with her house debut as Mimi. (…) the sumptuousness of her lower register promises great things.”
(The Stage)

“Mimi herself was the star of the show, gloriously sung by Elizabeth Llewellyn, making her ENO debut. This is a young woman to watch out for”
Mark Ronan’s Theatre Reviews

 

Donna Elvira / Don Giovanni – (Bergen National Opera), March 2015

“Both the donne were in formidable command of their coloratura…Elizabeth Llewellyn characterizing Elvira with a formidable blend of double cream and gleaming metal”.
Opera magazine

“The ladies…are brilliant in their own way. Elizabeth Llewellyn had authority in her interpretation of Donna Elvira.”
Bergen Tidende

 

Elsa / Lohengrin – (Theater Magdeburg), September 2014

“In her debut as Elsa, Elizabeth Llewellyn reaped a huge personal triumph. With well-nigh-perfect diction, she modulated her ever-so-slighty smoky timbre from the dreamy forlorness of the first scenes to an unusually strong confrontational tone. Her voice carried to the furthest nook, even in the pianissimo passages, and – almost alone in the cast – she seemed to have power in reserve during even her most outgoing effusions.”
Opera magazine

“A beguiling luminous voice that alternates between perfect dreamy sounds and effortless power, and on top of that offers exemplary diction. This must be a name to remember.”
Neue Musik Zeitung

“For Elizabeth Llewellyn as Elsa one was drawn in as soon as she opened her mouth. Innocent, dreamy, she exuded loveliness in chaste euphony to the scene in the bridal chamber. There she comes to life… ”
Volkstimme.de

“Elizabeth Llewellyn in her role debut as Elsa, alone succeeded out of the whole line-up! The Briton who only lately changed in singing repertory, has a balsamic blossoming soprano with bright timbre,  with nuanced responsiveness even in her lower register. Already in this her first German-language role she convinced with a characteristic voice leading that – coupled with strong stage-presence – gave the viewers a compelling potrait of the role. ”
Opernglas

“Vocally, the evening was coined by the the two main protagonists. With special attributes should we indeed deal sparingly, but what Elizabeth Llewellyn offered as dreamy Elsa was simply sensational! As well being theatrically completely convincing this singer, with  a balanced soprano with its full timbre and all-round gleam, outshone the ensemble, also having no intonation difficulties at the top of her voice. She had at her Wagner debut already excellent standards. ”
Opernfreund

“More intense and free in her acting was Elizabeth Llewellyn as Elsa. That she is a stranger and that she is more at home in her dream-world than in this theater of concrete and militancy, she conveyed musically and made dramatically credible.”
Klassik.com

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Discography & Repertoire

Artist Manager

Sue Nicholls (Cambridge)
sue.nicholls@hazardchase.co.uk
01223 706023

Associate Artist Manager

Evie Parker (Cambridge)
evie.parker@hazardchase.co.uk
01223 706414