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); 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). Most recently she has recorded works by Vaughan Williams with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins (Hyperion), and Dyson Choral Symphony with the Bach Choir and David Hill (Naxos).
Plans this season and beyond include Donna Elvira Don Giovanni for Welsh National Opera; Bach St John Passion with NDR Hannover and Andrew Manze; Solomon’s Queen in Handel Solomon with the SCO and Peter Dijkstra; Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle with the LPO and Gustavo Gimeno; and Britten Spring Symphony with the LSO and Sir Simon Rattle. She will also return to London’s Wigmore Hall to give a solo recital, as well as a concert of Wolf Italienisches Lieder with Roger Vignoles and Roderick Williams.
Recent concerts have included Ligeti Le Grand Macabre with the LSO and Rattle; Bach St John Passion with Blomstedt and the Oslo Philharmonic; Mahler Symphony no. 4 and Strauss songs with the Hallé Orchestra and Ryan Wigglesworth; and Mahler Symphony no. 2 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakami Oramo for the BBC Proms. She has worked with other conductors including Richard Egarr, Olari Elts, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Michael Tilson Thomas, Daniel Reuss, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Hans-Christoph Rademan and Ottavio Dantone, and ensembles including the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, RIAS Kammerchor Berlin, Akademie für Alte Musik, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bachakademie Stuttgart and the Academy of Ancient Music.
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.