Elizabeth DeShong
Mezzo-soprano

“this is, quite simply, one of the great operatic performances…a contralto opulence with blazing top notes and some of the most staggering coloratura you will ever hear.” (The Guardian)

Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Catherine Znak +44 (0)20 3725 9105

Biography

Rossini has been the composer of DeShong’s debuts at Wiener Staatsoper, Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company and the Los Angeles Opera but this versatile artist is not confined to one repertoire. Awarded the Washington National Opera’s “Artist of the Year Award” in 2010 for her debut performance as the Composer in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, this season sees her return to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Adalgisa (Norma) and make her house debuts at both the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Bayerische Staatsoper as Suzuki.

An equally established concert singer, Elizabeth’s repertoire includes Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Elgar's The Kingdom, Mozart’s Requiem, and Messiah as well as Bernstein’s Symphony No.1.

Rossini has been the composer of DeShong’s debuts at Wiener Staatsoper, Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company and the Los Angeles Opera but this versatile artist is not confined to one repertoire. Awarded the Washington National Opera’s “Artist of the Year Award” in 2010 for her debut performance as the Composer in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, this season sees her return to Lyric Opera of Chicago as Adalgisa (Norma) and make her house debuts at both the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Bayerische Staatsoper as Suzuki.

An equally established concert singer, Elizabeth’s repertoire includes Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht, Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, Elgar's The Kingdom, Mozart’s Requiem, and Messiah as well as Bernstein’s Symphony No.1.

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Contacts

Shirley Thomson +44 (0)20 3725 9173
Catherine Znak +44 (0)20 3725 9105

Reviews

“Elizabeth DeShong is terrific as a fiercely defensive Suzuki.”(Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph, March 2017)

“and a rich-toned Elizabeth DeShong, another debutante, making more than most out of the role of Suzuki.”(Neil Fisher, The Times, March 2017)

“Adalgisa’s tessitura encompasses contraltolike depths and soprano heights, a huge vocal compass that was at DeShong’s ready command. What’s more her velvety, focused and pliant vocalism supported a credible characterisation. It was good to have one of the Ryan Opera Center’s star alumni back at the company that launched her career.” (Chicago Tribune, January 2017)

“Elizabeth DeShong is terrific as a fiercely defensive Suzuki.”(Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph, March 2017)

“and a rich-toned Elizabeth DeShong, another debutante, making more than most out of the role of Suzuki.”(Neil Fisher, The Times, March 2017)

“Adalgisa’s tessitura encompasses contraltolike depths and soprano heights, a huge vocal compass that was at DeShong’s ready command. What’s more her velvety, focused and pliant vocalism supported a credible characterisation. It was good to have one of the Ryan Opera Center’s star alumni back at the company that launched her career.” (Chicago Tribune, January 2017)

“[Elizabeth DeShong’s] wide-ranging mezzo – from high notes to contralto-like dark tones – handled the role’s demands with aplomb. She brought fire to her confrontation with Pollione and blended fluently with [her Norma] in the extended duet.” (Chicago Classical Review, January 2017)

“The driving force of the quartet of lovers was Elizabeth DeShong, so formidably sumptuous of voice as Hermia” (Opera Magazine, October 2016)

“The warm, burnt caramel mezzo of Elizabeth DeShong excelled as a feisty Hermia” (Bachtrack, August 2016)

“Elizabeth DeShong’s sumptuous mezzo made Hermia compulsively attractive.” (Classical Source, August 2016)

“But it was the mezzo Elizabeth DeShong, the only principal new to the cast, who virtually stole the show as Calbo. Her Act 2 aria with its two-octave-plus range and incredible fioritura brought the house down.” (Opera Magazine, September 2016)

“Elizabeth DeShong brought a finely knit mezzo-soprano and supple legato phrasing to Fenena” (Opera Magazine, July 2016)

“What a sound DeShong made all evening!...Deshong traversed an enormous vocal compass in her part, with a thrilling timbre throughout. Her second act aria, reminding Anna’s father of his daughter’s loyalty, was a staggering show stopper.” (Globe & Mail, May 2016)

“Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong as Calbo is mesmerizing.” (Toronto Star, May 2016)

“Elizabeth DeShong unquestionably stops the show with an electrifying rendition of Rossini’s stupendous coloratura Act II aria, ‘Non temer: d’un basso affetto’…That DeShong is able to plant the inherently one-dimensional general so firmly in our consciousness is a testament to her vibrant, larger than life powers of expression.” (Opera Going Toronto, May 2016)

“The other big success of the night was mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong, who was an excellent Arsace...Her coloratura is perfectly in order. In short, she was a great interpreter of Arsace.” (Seen & Heard, March 2016)

“Elizabeth DeShong, a pugnacious Arsace, sang “Eccomi alfine in Babilonia” masterfully. Who would have thought that this American mezzo-soprano applauded in Aix-en-Provence last summer in completely different repertoire (Britten) housed an experienced Rossini voice, she expertly moves from the bottom to the top of the range, and ably expands the voice to a full and sonorous sound…she was compelling, inventive and brave…A revelation.” (Forum Opéra, March 2016)

“DeShong’s final-act aria “O, dischiuso è il firmament!” was a model of Verdian style.” (Seen & Heard, January 2016)

“DeShong was a first-rate Fenena, bringing a warmly appealing voice and supple legato line” (Chicago Tribune, January 2016)

“Elizabeth DeShong [is] convincing as a besotted schoolboy with a clear mezzo voice.” (Washington Post, November 2015)

“All four voices blend together or grate against one another with shrewdly judged musicality. DeShong in particular throws some thrilling vocal acrobatics at her character without a trace of shame or restraint.” (Bachtrack, July 2015)

“...most memorably, Elizabeth DeShong as Hermia, her mezzo-soprano creamy and her acting memorable in slapstick and heartache.” (Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times, October 2013)

“Chief among the production's virtues was its Rosina, Elizabeth DeShong, who gave ample evidence in what was her company debut that she is a genuine operatic force. Blessed with a splendid instrument that is rich and full from top to bottom, DeShong sailed through every demand Rossini made. Her coloratura was impeccable, her diction firm and clear. Best of all, DeShong seemed to know how to color her voice to project the various aspects of Rosina's complex personality, from coy to teasing to innocent to flirtatious to furious. Her "Una voce poco fa" was a textbook example of what Rossini singing is all about. DeShong was equally impressive in ensemble singing, managing to blend her voice with her colleagues' in brief numbers such as "Zitti, zitti, piano, piano" while still allowing her musical personality to shine through.” (John Guinn, Opera News, October 2012)

Discography

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