American soprano Elizabeth Futral has established herself as one of the leading coloratura sopranos in the world today. With her stunning vocalism and vast dramatic range, she has embraced a repertoire that ranges from the Baroque to world premieres by the leading composers of today.
In 2013–2014 season she will create the role of Vera Donovan in the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne with the San Francisco Opera, appears as Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music with the Houston Grand Opera, sings her first Zdenka in Strauss’ Arabella with the Minnesota Opera, as well as Lucia di Lammermoor with Portland Opera. She will return to Music of the Baroque for Haydn’s The Creation led by Jane Glover for performances in Chicago and La Jolla.
During the summer of 2012–2013 season, Ms. Futral sang Marian Paroo in The Music Man at Glimmerglass Opera, the title role of Saariaho’s Émilie for the Lincoln Center Festival and performed chamber music with clarinetist Todd Palmer and pianist Ran Dank at Tannery Pond Concerts and traveled with Glimmerglass Opera to perform The Music Man at the Royal Opera House Muscat in Oman. She returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Musetta in La bohème, to the New York Philharmonic for their CONTACT! Series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Symphony Space, performed Stephen Paulus’ To Be Certain of the Dawn with the Grand Rapids Symphony, and performed Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen, BWV 51 and Non sa che sia dolore, BWV 209 with the Washington Bach Consort.
A native of Louisiana, Ms. Futral studied with Virginia Zeani at Indiana University. She joined the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1991. Ms. Futral was catapulted to stardom with critically acclaimed performances of Delibes’ Lakmé at the New York City Opera in 1994. Career milestones soon followed, cementing her star status: a win in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia Competition, the title role in Rossini’s Matilde di Shabran in Pesaro, her debut at the San Francisco Opera as Stella in the world premiere of André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, and her Metropolitan Opera debut in a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor.
Last season saw Ms. Futral as Violetta with Lyric Opera Baltimore, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Washington National Opera and Nedda in Pagliacci with New Zealand Opera. She joined Hannu Lintu and the Avanti Chamber Orchestra for the world premiere of a suite from Saariaho’s Emilie at Carnegie Hall, and returned to Music of the Baroque for Handel’s L’Allegro, il penseroso ed il moderato, led Jane Glover.
Ms. Futral has returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Princess Eudoxie in a new production of La Juïve, Princess Yeuyang in the world premiere of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor, Elvira in I puritani and additional performances of Lucia. With the Lyric Opera of Chicago she has sung a vast range of roles including Cunegonde in Candide, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Handel’s Partenope, La traviata and The Merry Widow. She has notable relationships with the Washington, Houston, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, New York City, Vancouver and Minnesota opera companies. Internationally, she has been heard at the Royal Opera Covent Garden, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Theater an der Wien, the Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Gran Teatre del Liceu and Hamburg Staatsoper.
Ms. Futral debuted with the New York Philharmonic in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 under Zubin Mehta and has returned there for Handel’s Messiah with Sir Neville Marriner and Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio with Sir Colin Davis. Other orchestral highlights include Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony, To Be Certain of the Dawn with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra, the Brahms Requiem with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, arias and duets with Plácido Domingo and the Chicago Symphony led by Daniel Barenboim and a New Year’s Eve Gala with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic.
A leading interpreter of the music of today’s prominent composers, Ms. Futral has sung the world premieres of Andre Previn’s Brief Encounter at the Houston Grand Opera, Philip Glass’ Orphée for the American Repertory Theatre, Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice for Great Performers at Lincoln Center, Dominick Argento’s Evensong: Of Love and Angels at the National Cathedral and Stephen Paulus’ Three Poems of Dylan Thomas with the Tuscon Symphony. Other notable performances include concerts and recording of Paulus’ To Be Certain of the Dawn with the Minnesota Orchestra and Osma Vänskä, Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath at Carnegie Hall and Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men at the Houston Grand Opera.
Ms. Futral’s most recent recording release is Previn’s Brief Encounter on Deutsche Grammophon. Other operatic recordings include A Streetcar Named Desire and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges for Deutsche Grammophon, Rossini’s Otello and Zelmira, Pacini’s Carlo di Borgogna for Opera Rara, Lucia di Lammermoor for Chandos as part of their “Opera in English” series, Of Mice and Men on Albany Records, Six Characters in Search of An Author on New World Records and Philip Glass’s chamber opera Hydrogen Jukebox for Euphorbia Records.
Additional recordings include a solo aria recital for Chandos’s Opera in English series, Mozart The Supreme Decorator, a collection of arias by Mozart and C.P.E. Bach on Opera Rara, Sweethearts, a collection of operetta favorites on Newport Classics, Solo Bach Cantatas with the Washington Bach Consort for Lyrichord Discs, Argento’s Evensong with the Cathedral Choral Society for Gothic Records, Paulus’ To Be Certain of the Dawn on BIS records, and Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice.
Ms. Futral appears as Elvira in Kasper Holten’s film, Juan, a modern retelling of Don Giovanni. Other DVD releases include Tan Dun’s The First Emperor on EMI and A Streetcar Named Desire on Image Entertainment.