Elizabeth DeShong, Mezzo-soprano
When Elizabeth DeShong sang Calbo in Rossini’s rarely-performed Maometto II at the Canadian Opera Company, the National Post wrote: “Even more impressive was Elizabeth DeShong as Calbo, a bellicose Venetian general with a human side. . . there could be no better demonstration of the viability of a woman in a heroic male role. Vibrant tone, pyrotechnic technique, intense stage presence, spot-on-diction: this American mezzo- soprano has it all.”
Next season, Ms. DeShong makes her debut at the Opernhaus Zürich as Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, which will be followed by Ruggiero in Alcina at Washington National Opera, and Arsace in Semiramide at the Metropolitan Opera. In concert she will perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Music of the Baroque, and make her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Schubert’s Mass No. 6, and the world premiere of a commission by Maxwell Raimi, both conducted by Riccardo Muti.
During the 2016/17 season, Ms. DeShong returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to sing Adalgisa in Bellini’s Norma, and made her Royal Opera and Bayerische Staatsoper debuts as Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. In concert she performed the Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with the Baltimore Symphony, the Verdi Requiem with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Mahler Symphony No. 2 with the Oregon Symphony.
She has performed extensively throughout the world with such companies as the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, English National Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Opéra National de Bordeaux, the Glyndebourne Festival, and Aix-en-Provence.
The list of symphony orchestras with whom Ms. DeShong has performed includes the Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Cincinnati Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, and the Royal Flemish Orchestra.
Her extensive operatic repertory includes Angelina (La Cenerentola), Calbo (Maometto II), Arsace (Semiramide), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Enchanted Island), Hänsel (Hänsel und Gretel), Maffio Orsini (Lucrezia Borgia), Fenena (Nabucco), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly), and the Dresser, Schoolboy, and Page (Lulu).
Ms. DeShong is the recipient of the Washington National Opera’s “Artist of the Year” award in 2010, as the Composer in Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. On DVD, she can be seen as Hermia in the Metropolitan Opera’s pastiche opera The Enchanted Island, on Virgin, and as Maffio Orsini in the San Francisco Opera’s production of Lucrezia Borgia on EuroArts Music and Naxos of America. Her recording of Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony under the direction of Sir Andrew Davis was recently released on Chandos.
UPDATED MARCH 2017