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

Photo: 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.

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 engagements include Elizabeth’s US debut with Seattle Opera as Bess Porgy and Bess, Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (title role) at Opera Holland Park and Margherita/Elena in Boito’s Mefistofele with Chelsea Opera Group.

In the 2019/20 season Elizabeth makes her Metropolitan Opera debut as Bess Porgy and Bess, and her role debut as Aida in Bielefeld.  On the concert platform she sings Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Richard Farnes and Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra and Grant Llewellyn.

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

News

Elizabeth Llewellyn sings Aida

November 26th, 2019

Llewellyn makes role debut in Germany

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Soprano in Metropolitan Opera Debut

October 4th, 2019

Elizabeth Llewellyn sings the title role in Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess

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Manon Lescaut: Opera Holland Park

May 28th, 2019

Soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn debuts new Puccini role

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UK Summer Opera 2019

May 20th, 2019

Hazard Chase artists in this year’s summer opera festivals.

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New signing: Elizabeth Llewellyn

September 13th, 2018

British soprano joins the Hazard Chase vocal roster

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Reviews

Verdi AIDA (Theater Bielefeld)

“Elizabeth Llewellyn chose Theater Bielefeld for her role debut as Aida…and she has given a gift to the theatre! For her interpretation of this role was highly expressive, touching, and vocally of the very highest quality. She was at the centre of this production at all times, even when she had nothing to sing. Her gestures, her body language, were always like a mirror of her interpretation of Aida. Her solo scenes were sung in a grand and penetrating manner, outstanding in the ensembles. The way she used vocal means to express the feelings of the Aida was an experience. A really great debut as Aida, for which she was celebrated by the opening night audience with ovations. BRAVO!”
Detlef Obens, Das Opernmagazin (December 2019)

“Elizabeth Llewellyn, daughter of Jamaican parents, gave an Aida of enormous dramatic urgency….The highly dramatic British soprano effortlessly outshines the concentrated sound of the choir and orchestra, and has a poignant vocabulary of lamentation – an ideal piece of casting for this Bielefeld staging.”
Johannes Vetter, Neue Westfalische (December 2019)

“…the great Elizabeth Llewellyn, who has just hurried from her New York debut at the Met to Germany succeeds as an Aida bringing her innermost feelings out. Her soprano has tremendous power and size, but she also masters the delicate, heart-breaking singing.”
Uta Jostwerner, Westfallen Blatt (December 2019)

 

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Puccini MANON LESCAUT (Opera Holland Park)

“she relaxed and released a wonderfully expressive and dramatic flood of glorious colour, the wait was proven more than worthwhile. In fact, the slight frailty at the start was not inapt, capturing as it did some of the innocence of the young Manon […] and the blossoming of Llewellyn’s soprano in the final two Acts communicated the maturity and growth borne of Manon’s experiences. Llewellyn exploited the full range of her soprano, including a rich chest voice, encompassing a vast emotional spectrum and sensitively capturing Manon’s femininity. As Manon finds herself at the limits of her resilience, so Llewellyn pushed her soprano to its limits, though never sacrificing her creamily smooth legato, with compelling power and effect. As her voice recovers fully, Llewellyn’s performance will be a persuasive reason to see this production.”
Claire Seymour, Opera Today (June 2019)

“Elizabeth Llewellyn has an exciting voice for Puccini, silvery and vital. […] The final act brought more power, and a tantalising glimpse of what this fine singer might offer later in the run.”
Erica Jeal, The Guardian (June 2019)

“Llewellyn […] gives full rein to her powerful soprano that never loses the crucial fragility it requires to illustrate Manon’s disastrous decision making.”
Gary Naylor, Broadway World, (June 2019)

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“The redeeming feature of the evening was Elizabeth Llewellyn’s kittenish Manon, sung with a stylistic delicacy and refinement of phrasing otherwise entirely absent from a lamentable misfire of a performance that I will now do my utmost to forget.”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph (June 2019)

“Treading a careful vocal line following her recovery from a throat infection, Llewellyn nevertheless established that her peaches-and-cream soprano and generous phrasing are ideal casting.”
George Hall, Financial Times (June 2019)

“it’s a terrific instrument, brightly coloured, expressive and rich. […] the voice seemed in near pristine condition. Llewellyn is one of those performers so naturally elegant on stage that she imbues her heroines with a certain noble grace, even as she is lined up in Act 3 as a sex slave.”
Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack (June 2019)

“Star quality comes at last with the elegant and slightly sphinx-like presence of Llewellyn’s Manon”
David Nice, The Arts Desk (June 2019)

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Boito MEFISTOFELE (Chelsea Opera Group)

“Soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn sang the double role of Margherita and Elena, bringing an ideal combination of power and lyrical flexibility to the roles. Her Margherita was beautifully sung with a convincing and touching naivety, yet expansive in the more lyrical moments and with a surprising strength when she denies Faust just before her death. By contrast, Llewellyn’s Elena was wonderfully radiant and rightly seductive.”
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill (March 2019)

“Elizabeth Llewellyn, playing both Margherita and Elena, was marginally more suited to the latter, though her singing had great beauty and poise.”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian (March 2019)

“Elizabeth Llewellyn was at her radiant best in her two incarnations as Margherita and Elena, differentiating the two beautifully. As Margherita in love she unleashed waves of powerful velvety sound but then found exactly the right sense of pathos and stillness as she is imprisoned and seeks salvation. As Elena she was full of dangerous allure. The wide-eyed faces of the Capital Arts Children’s Choir (a distinct asset to the evening) marvelling at it was a delight!”
Alexander Campbell, Classical Source (March 2019)

“She commanded the attention of all in the Queen Elizabeth Hall during the Act 3 prison scene, her soprano falling with a slight duskiness and rising with a rapturous sheen, the projection easy and the phrasing beguiling. […] she spun an exquisite, gentle pianissimo; and, when she prayed to God for salvation and rejecting Faust, her dying phrases conveyed every drop of emotional intensity.”
Claire Seymour, Opera Today (March 2019)

“Elizabeth Llewellyn has a more opulent, softer-grained tone than Bemsch, but soprano and tenor complemented each other beautifully in ‘Lontano, lontano’. Alert to every aspect of the drama, Llewellyn brought wrenching pathos to the role of Margherita and sweeping grandeur Elena (Helen of Troy) in a performance that bodes well for Manon Lescaut at Opera Holland Park.”
Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine (June 2019)

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A Sea Symphony (BBC Symphony Orchestra) [CD – Hyperion]

“Both Elizabeth Llewellyn and Marcus Farnsworth sing with attractively fresh timbre and impeccable enunciation, their memorably unforced contribution reminding me somewhat of Sheila Armstrong and John Carol Case on Adrian Boult’s stereo recording (EMI/Warner, 12/68); listen from 14’37” in the finale (‘O soul thou pleasest me, I thee’) to hear them at their intimate best”
Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone Magazine (October 2018)

“[Llewellyn’s] fine soprano rides the choral waves thrillingly”
Anthony Burton, BBC Music Magazine (November 2018)

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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