ROSALIND ELIAS – mezzo soprano
One of the finest singing-actresses of our time, Rosalind Elias has reached living legend status, performed leading roles with distinction with leading opera companies throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Vienna State Opera, Paris Opera, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Hamburg State Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Santa Fe Opera, the Liceo in Barcelona, and the Teatro San Carlo in Lisbon. She has also performed on numerous occasions for opera companies in Boston, Houston, Cincinnati, Miami, Marseilles, Monte Carlo and Geneva, Caracas, and Bogota. On the concert stage, Ms. Elias performed and recorded with a number of the world's leading orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta and Kurt Masur, Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy, Boston Symphony Orchestra under Charles Munch and Seiji Ozawa, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Vienna Philharmonic under Georg Solti and Fritz Reiner.
Ms. Elias recently sang in two world premieres: Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath with Minnesota Opera and David Carlson’s Anna Karenina with Florida Grand Opera and Opera Theater of St. Louis. Both operas have been released on CD. She was also seen as Mama Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana for Palm Beach Opera which she also sang for Opera de Quebec. In the fall of 2007 she returned to New York City Opera in the widely acclaimed 50th anniversary production of Vanessa. With Hawaii Opera Theater she sang Mme. Armfeldt in A Little Night Music and continued her association with Sondheim musicals as Heidi in the 2012 Kennedy Center production of Follies on Broadway, nominated for a Tony Award for Best Muysic Revival and for a 2013 Grammy as Best Cast Album. In 2013, Ms. Elias debuted to acclaim with Opera Orchestra of New York in their Avery Fisher Hall concert of Andrea Chenier as Madelon.
In 2002, she sang Zita in the new production of Gianni Schicchi for Los Angeles Opera (directed by William Friedkin and conducted by Kent Nagano) as well as singing the Baroness to Kiri Te Kanawa’s Vanessa for Washington Opera. She returned to Italy in 2003 to sing the Old Lady in Candide at Rome’s Festival Euro Mediterraneo and in 2004 joined Te Kanawa again for Vanessa with Los Angeles Opera.
She has recorded extensively for RCA, CBS, DG, and London and three of her recordings won Grammys as "Best of the Year" by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences – Le Nozze di Figaro, Madama Butterfly and the Verdi Requiem.
In the course of her long career, she has performed more than 50 roles, spanning the classical and bel canto literature, from Dorabella and Rosina to Carmen, Dalilah, Eboli, Marina, Amneris, and Laura. She has also created several notable parts: Erika in Vanessa, Charmian in Anthony and Cleopatra and the television premiere of And David Wept, for which she won her first Emmy Award. Ms. Elias won her second Emmy for PBS "Live from the Met" performance of Hansel and Gretel as the Witch. She also recorded a full-length performance for BBC Television in the title role of Carmen.
In recent seasons, Ms. Elias she has appeared at the Met as the Mother in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Mme. Larina in Eugene Onegin, the Marquise in La Fille du Regiment and the Old Prioress in Dialogues of the Carmelites, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, and Annina in Der Rosenkavalier. Elsewhere, she has performed the title role of Regina for Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven and Kansas City, Herodias in Salome for the Houston Grand Opera, Opera Columbus and Baltimore Opera, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd for the New York City Opera, the old Baroness in Vanessa for the Dallas Opera and Opera Festival of New Jersey and Czipra in Der Zigeunerbaron with Masur and the New York Philharmonic. Additionally, she returned to the Dallas Opera for the Witch in Hansel und Gretel, Lyric Opera of Boston to sing her first Dame Quickly in Falstaff and the Met for the Countess in Andrea Chenier. She was also at the Met for The Bartered Bride and with Opera Carolina in Falstaff. In 1997-98 she debuted in Monte Carlo as Maddelon and the Countess in Chenier and returned to Baltimore Opera as Quickly. She also sang the premiere of Dreamkeepers by David Carlson with Tulsa Opera in 1998 and made her debut in Torino as the Old Lady in Candide. She later returned to Tulsa as the Old Prioress in Carmelites and in the summer of 2000 sang the Mother in Six Characters in Search of an Author for the Opera Festival of New Jersey. She returned to Monte Carlo in 2001 in Vanessa and also sang Carmelites with Portland Opera.
As a director, she has staged productions of Hansel for Opera Memphis, Carmen, Il Barbiere di Siviglia and Cosi fan tutte for the Cincinnati Opera, La Boheme and Barbiere for the Baltimore Opera, Madama Butterfly for Calgary Opera and Arizona Opera, Barbiere for the Florentine Opera, Don Pasquale for the Portland Opera, Carmen in San Diego and in Kansas City, Hartford, Connecticut, Charlotte, North Carolina, Barbiere for Opera Pacific, La Cenerentola for the Tulsa Opera, The Merry Wives of Windsor for the Manhattan School of Music and, most notably, a new production of Regina for the New York City Opera.
Ms. Elias is a native of Lowell, Massachusetts and a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music with an Honorary Doctorate of Music.