"Best of all was the Countess, Elizabeth Llewellyn, whose rich-toned, agile sopranooffered a level of vocal quality too often missing elsewhere... Following her strongly sung Mimì at the same address last season, Llewellyn here confirmed her potential as a rising star of the U.K. soprano firmament."
Opera News - ENO's The Marriage of Figaro
Born to Jamaican parents in London, 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 joined the Glyndebourne Festival Opera chorus and created the role of Ludovina in the premiere of the Festival's new opera The Yellow Sofa with the Britten Sinfonia.
Elizabeth made her operatic debut as Mimì in Jonathan Miller's production of La Bohème at ENO (which led to her being named as "Best newcomer in opera in 2010" by The Telegraph) to great critical acclaim. The following year, Elizabeth caused a sensation when she returned to the ENO as the Countess in their new production of The Marriage of Figaro, directed by Fiona Shaw, a role which earned her uniformly glowing reviews, as did her recent appearance there as Micaëla in Calixto Bieito's production of Carmen. Since then, Elizabeth has studied key Mozart and Strauss roles with Neil Schicoff, Carol Vaness and Soile Isokoski.
Recent months have seen Elizabeth establish herself as an upcoming Verdian soprano of note, singing Amelia in Simon Boccangera with ETO for which she was nominated for "Singer of the Year 2013" in OpernWelt magazine. More recently, she stepped at short notice to sing the same role in a concert celebrating the Verdi-Boito partnership conducted by Sir Mark Elder at the Bridegwater Hall, has made a recording of Macbeth with Ed Gardner for Chandos, and given a recital of the complete songs of Verdi. Other roles include Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni (Theater Magdeburg & cover at Glyndebourne Festival Opera), Fiordiligi/Così fan tutte & Contessa/Le Nozze di Figaro (Opera Holland Park); and Governess/The Turn of the Screw (Arcola Theatre).
As well as her successful Rosenblatt Recital series last season, Elizabeth's recent concert appearances have included Beethoven's Symphony No.9 in St Paul's Cathedral, Britten's War Requiem, and a live performance of Strauss' Vier Letzte Lieder on BBC Radio 3 with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Donald Runnicles. Elizabeth won the inaugural Voice of Black Opera Competition, including the Sir Willard White Award, and she was the opera nominee for the prestigious Breakthrough Award at The Times/Sky Arts Southbank Awards this year.
Future engagements include performances of Mahler Symphony No. 8 with the RSNO and with Esa-Pekka Salonen, a title role for the Royal Danish Opera, Elsa/Lohengrin for Theater Magdeburg, and Donna Elvira/Don Giovanni for De Nye Opera in Bergen.