© Frances Marshall
ELIZABETH LLEWELLYN MBE
Known for her vivid portrayals of Puccini and Verdi heroines and for her full, distinctive voice, Elizabeth has risen through the ranks since making her debut as Mimi La bohème at English National Opera, and has established herself internationally as an artist of distinction. Elizabeth was awarded an MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours 2022, marking her extraordinary contributions and services to music across the UK.
Elizabeth's recent notable highlights include making her Metropolitan Opera debut as Bess Porgy and Bess, role and company debuts as Jenůfa at Welsh National Opera, Desdemona Otello for Grange Park Opera, directed by David Alden, Alice Ford in a new co-production of Falstaff by Sir David McVicar for Scottish Opera and the Edinburgh International Festival and recitals at Wigmore Hall and across the UK. In May 2021 she releasing her debut solo album Heart & Hereafter alongside pianist Simon Lepper - a collection of twenty-five songs celebrating the significant song-output of British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Porgy & Bess in Germany and Switzerland
Elizabeth Llewellyn returns to the role of Bess in a semi-staged performance of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, touring Germany and Switzerland alongside the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester.
Conducted by Alan Gilbert, the cast includes Morris Robinson as Porgy, Golda Schultz as Clara, Latonia Moore and Serena and Lester Lynch as Crown. Performances can be heard on Thursday 25 August at the KKL Lucerne, as part of the Lucerne Festival and on Saturday 27 August at the Wunderino-Arena, for the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival.
Following performances of Porgy and Bess, Elizabeth begins her 2022-23 season with the first instalment of a series of three recitals with pianist Simon Lepper, which she has curated especially for London’s Wigmore Hall, celebrating the significant song-output of British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.
For further information on Elizabeth's performances with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, visit their website here.
Elizabeth Llewellyn & Simon Lepper - Coleridge-Taylor, Big Lady Moon
Elizabeth Llewellyn and Kevin Short - "I Loves You, Porgy" (Duet)
Turn of the Screw (Governess)
The Rape of Lucretia (Female Chorus)
Peter Grimes (Ellen Orford)*
Porgy & Bess (Bess)
The Merry Widow (Hanna Glawari)
La Clemenza di Tito (Vitellia)*
Così fan Tutte (Fiordiligi)
Le Nozze di Figaro (Contessa)
Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira/Donna Anna)*
Die Zauberflöte (First Lady)
La Bohème (Mimì)
Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica)
Il Tabarro (Giorgetta)
La Rondine (Magda de Civry)
Madama Butterfly (Madama Butterfly)
Manon Lescaut (Manon Lescaut)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Blanche DuBois)*
Der Rosenkavalier (Marschallin)*
Capriccio (Countess Madeleine)
Eugene Onegin (Tatiana)
Simon Boccanegra (Amelia)
Don Carlo (Elisabetta)*
Luisa Miller (Luisa Miller)
Il Trovatore (Leonora)*
Un Ballo in Maschera (Amelia)
Falstaff (Alice Ford)
Die Meistersinger (Eva)*
Der Freischütz (Agathe)*
* in preparation
Mass in C
Symphony No. 9
Our Hunting Fathers
The Spirit of England
Symphony No. 8 (2nd Soprano)
Das Klagende Lied
Vier Letzte Lieder
A Child of Our Time
Serenade to Music
A Sea Symphony
A Song for The Lord Mayor’s Table
Vaughan Williams SEA SYMPHONY / BBC PROMS
"The soloists too rose to the occasion, soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn’s spinto power soaring above even these forces."
Roy Westbrook, Backtrack (July 2022)
Rolf Martinsson ICH DENKE DEIN/ Three Choirs Festival
“On this occasion, the soloist was Elizabeth Llewellyn whose radiant soprano both soared effortlessly and floated with sublime gentleness, luxuriantly bathed in a kaleidoscope of instrumental textures and colours.”
Clare Seymour, Opera Today (July 2022)
“Elizabeth Llewellyn was superb throughout – especially in that telling first movement – holding her own against an orchestra continually threatening to overwhelm, her rich voice the perfect mouthpiece for such intoxicated love music.”
Simon Cummings, Bachtrack (July 2022)
“The undoubted star of the evening was soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn. My word, what a ravishing, rich and full-bodied voice with a soaring top. The song cycle was a wonderful vehicle for this singer to really shine and show the extraordinary abilities of her voice.”
David Gray & Paul Gray, ReviewsGate (July 2022)
Verdi OTELLO / Grange Park Opera
"her heartbreaking Willow Song and prayer in Act IV: magnificent music magnificently sung"
Marc Brenner, The Times (June 2022)
"Elizabeth Llewellyn’s rich, radiant Desdemona [...] In the second half, Llewellyn glowed and even burned. With a soul-searing Willow Song and Ave Maria, she managed to thin out that usually luscious, smoky and velvet-plush sound into a clear, pure beam of innocent sorrow. The spectrum of feeling and intonation in her “Salces” delivered a dramatic-soprano masterclass in itself. As Otello arrived to complete his mad design, her angelic top notes floated heartbreakingly into an abyss of pain. "
Boyd Tonkin. The Arts Desk (June 2022)
"As his naïve bride Desdemona, Llewellyn is at her vocal and dramatic best in the tender Willow Song scene just before her death."
Inge Kjemtrup, The Stage (June 2022)
"Elizabeth Llewellyn’s Desdemona has superb top notes of unearthly directness and purity, [...] she is at her most concentrated in her Willow Song and final evocation of the Ave Maria."
Nicholas Kenyon, The Telegraph (June 2022)
Janáček JENŮFA / Welsh National Opera
"With Elizabeth Llewellyn in the title role, it is Jenůfa’s intrinsic goodness that emerges so convincingly: her singing had great poise and lyrical line, she coloured the tenderness and compassion of her character, her agony at Stevushka’s loss simply heart-rending."
Rian Evans, The Guardian (March 2022)
"Making her role debut, Elizabeth Llewellyn brings to the eponymous heroine a vocal depth and dignity that shines through her transformation from spirited lover to battered, bereaved survivor, empowered by her capacity to forgive."
Steph Power, The Stage (March 2022)
“Elizabeth Llewellyn in the title role courses through the action in a state of heightened distress and strikes the right balance in oscillating between her love for her cousin Števa and for Laca, Števa’s half-brother and, like her, not blood-related.”
Nigel Jarrett, Wales Art Review (March 2022)
"once she got going she was superb, especially in the horrifying scene that culminates in the Kostelnička’s abduction and murder of Jenůfa’s week-old baby, and in that overwhelming final duet with Laca."
Stephen Walsh, The Arts Desk (March 2022)
"Jenůfa herself, of course, portrayed with profound sensitivity and a limpid, heartfelt vocal delivery by Elizabeth Llewellyn, admirably confronting the far-from simple task of serving as the backbone of the whole narration"
Chiara Strazzulla, Arts Scene in Wales (March 2022)
Verdi FALSTAFF / Scottish Opera
“Chief among the ladies is Elizabeth Llewellyn, whose rich, opulent voice brings aristocratic warmth to Alice.”
The Times (July 2021)
“Soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn, whose Mimi illuminated Haine’s La boheme, brings a similarly beautiful depth of expression and emotional intelligence to the role of the Windsor wife Alice Ford.”
The Telegraph (July 2021)
“Elizabeth Llewellyn is a magnetic presence as Alice Ford, vocally voluptuous and gently magisterial in character…”
The Scotsman (July 2021)
“Roland Wood in the title role is a solid presence in the face of the prattling wives, husbands and lovers of Windsor. Elizabeth Llewellyn’s Alice is the natural commander of the situation, an easy equal to his advances. Both provide strong vocal performances – robust but nuanced.”
The Stage (July 2021)
“Comedy is balanced on a sword-edge of tragedy for the women of Falstaff, and Elizabeth Llewellyn’s Alice plays things straight, velvety tone tempering the role’s piquant humour with plenty of breadth.”
The Spectator (July 2021)
“The wonderful soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn sings the wronged, but revenged, Alice Ford with great emotional depth and supple versatility.”
The National (July 2021)
First Night of the Proms / BBC Proms 2021
"but it was when Elizabeth Llewellyn’s soprano soared above the full orchestra that the piece really glowed"
Erica Jeal, The Guardian (July 2021)
Mozart REQUIEM / English National Opera
“...the superbly focused singing of the four soloists: Gerald Finley, Ed Lyon, Sarah Connolly and particularly Elizabeth Llewellyn, whose timbre throughout was aptly angelic."
Richard Morrison, The Times (November 2020)
"Elizabeth Llewellyn's lustrous soprano shone brightly and warmly in her every contribution"
Martin Kettle, The Guardian (November 2020)
"...the four soloists, singing without the scores customary in oratorio, could hardly be bettered: Elizabeth Llewellyn the shining soprano..."
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph (November 2020)
"Elizabeth Llewellyn made another wonderful impression with her variety of vocal colours, expressivity, and the immense depth and richness of her tone. She brought radiance to ‘Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine’ before the resounding chorus brought the Requiem to a rousing conclusion."
Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard International (November 2020)
"In February, Llewellyn was tremendously impressive in ENO's wonderfully sung Luisa Miller. Returning to that same stage after such a catastrophic year for live music-making was, she explained to Culture Whisper, a powerful moment. Her warm, luminous tone and Finley's seemingly effortless ability to make light work of the deepest, richest notes are to be marvelled at in their solo passages."
Claudia Pritchard, Culture Whisper (November 2020)
"Elizabeth Llewellyn undoubtedly shone in the performance with a gentle, delicate sound that felt solid. It consoled, too."
Jon Jacob, Thoroughly Good blog (November 2020)
Verdi LUISA MILLER / English National Opera
“Llewellyn has been absent from the Coliseum for too long, but she returned in triumph, singing throughout with a full-throated ease that amply filled the auditorium and portraying the character with a vivid naïvety that even the production’s vacuity couldn’t blur.”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph (February 2020)
“…in Elizabeth Llewellyn we get a gorgeously-sung Luisa.”
Michael Church, The Independent (February 2020)
“With her compellingly focused voice, Elizabeth Llewellyn is superb in the title role.”
Hugh Canning, The Times (February 2020)
“Elizabeth Llewellyn’s Luisa, richly and subtly voiced, still manages to exude passion and sincerity.”
Yehuda Shapiro, The Stage (February 2020)
“If Elizabeth Llewellyn has done anything better than this Luisa, then I regret not being there. Llewellyn’s singing had secure coloratura, fearless top notes, as well as much vocal elan and her acting had both energy and passion. However well she started, she finished even more strongly with a heart-wrenching Act III ‘La tomba e un letto’ and the poignancy of her closing duets with Miller and Rodolfo.”
Jim Pritchard, Seen & Heard International (February 2020)
“Above all this, Elizabeth Llewellyn’s silvery, supple soprano brings out all Luisa’s goodness and pain, …it soars where it counts.”
Erica Jeal, The Guardian (February 2020)
Verdi AIDA / Theater Bielefeld
“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)
“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)
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)
“Star quality comes at last with the elegant and slightly sphinx-like presence of Llewellyn’s Manon”
David Nice, The Arts Desk (June 2019)