By kind permission of Academy of Ancient Music and conductor Richard Egarr. 2015
By kind permission of Linn Records with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and conductor Christian Baldini. 2013
with the Netherlands Philharmonic and Marc Albrecht. By kind permission of Pentatone. 2015
“Elizabeth Watts confirmed her place as one of Britain’s leading sopranos as the traduced Iole, desolate in her lament for her lost home, but a match for Dejanira when accused of being Hercules’s lover. Like a cornered lioness, eyes flashing, claws out, we felt her bitter scorn in 'Ah, think what ills the jealous prove'. And yet, when Dejanira’s downfall was complete, her honeyed sweetness in 'My breast with tender pity swells' was deeply moving.”
Elizabeth Watts won the 2007 Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition and the Outstanding Young Artist Award at the Cannes MIDEM Classique Awards as well as the 2006 Kathleen Ferrier Award. She is a former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and was awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award in February 2011.
Recent and future highlights include:
- Fiordiligi Così fan tutte; Countess & Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro; Pamina Die Zauberflöte; Elvira Don Giovanni – Welsh National Opera
- Mahler Symphony No 2 – London Philharmonic Orchestra; Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra; BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms
- Ligeti Le Grand Macabre – Sir Simon Rattle – London Symphony Orchestra
- Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony – Sakari Oramo – Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra
- Marzelline Fidelio; Zerlina Don Giovanni – Royal Opera, Covent Garden
- Recitals – Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Aldeburgh Festival
Her critically acclaimed debut recording of Schubert Lieder (Sony) was followed by equally acclaimed discs of Bach Cantatas (Harmonia Mundi), Strauss Lieder with Roger Vignoles (Hyperion) and Mozart arias with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Christian Baldini (Linn Records); and most recently, a disc of works by Alessandro Scarlatti with the English Concert and Laurence Cummings (Harmonia Mundi), and Couperin Leçons de Ténèbres with La Nuova Musica and David Bates (Harmonia Mundi).
Plans this season and beyond include Ligeti Le Grand Macabre with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle; Bach St John Passion with Blomstedt and the Oslo Philharmonic; New Year concerts with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Nick McGegan; Mahler Symphony no. 4 and Strauss songs with the Hallé Orchestra and Ryan Wigglesworth; Mahler Symphony no. 2 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakami Oramo for the BBC Proms; Donna Elvira Don Giovanni for Welsh National Opera; and recitals with Roger Vignoles at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and Malcolm Martineau at London’s Wigmore Hall.
Recent concerts have included Mozart Requiem with the London Symphony Orchestra; Mass in C minor with Akademie für Alte Musik and Daniel Reuss and with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Olari Elts; Brahms Requiem with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Bach St Matthew and St John Passions (concerts and recordings) with the Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr; Beethoven Symphony no. 9 and Haydn Scena di Berenice with the SCO; Mahler Symphonies nos. 2 and 4 and Strauss Lieder with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra; no. 2 with the LPO and Andrés Orozco-Estrada and no. 4 with the LSO and Michael Tilson Thomas as well as with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy; Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony with the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Sakari Oramo, and performances with Bachakademie Stuttgart and Hans-Christoph Rademan, and with RIAS Kammerchor Berlin and Ottavio Dantone.
Opera roles have included Zerlina Don Giovanni and Marzelline Fidelio for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Susanna Le Nozze di Figaro for Santa Fe Opera and WNO, for whom Elizabeth has also sung Pamina Die Zauberflöte and Fiordiligi Così fan tutte, and most recently Countess in both Mozart’s opera and a sequel Figaro Gets A Divorce by Elena Langer; Almirena in Handel Rinaldo for Glyndebourne on Tour and, in concert, Josephine HMS Pinafore at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival and Minerva Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria with Academy of Ancient Music.
Elizabeth was a chorister at Norwich Cathedral and studied archaeology at Sheffield University before studying singing at the Royal College of Music in London. She was awarded an Hon DMus by Sheffield in 2013 and became a Fellow of the RCM in 2017.