Elizabeth Llewellyn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Elizabeth Llewellyn
Birth name Elizabeth Davidson[1]
Born 1973/1974 (age 43–44)
South London, England, UK
Genres Opera
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Singing
Years active 2010–present
Website elizabethllewellyn.com

Elizabeth Llewellyn, (born 1974) is a British opera singer who debuted with the English National Opera in 2010. She was named the "Best newcomer" in 2010 by the Daily Telegraph for her performance as Mimi in Giacomo Puccini's La bohème,[2] and according to Mary Ann Seighart of the BBC is "set to become one of the great stars of opera."[1]

Early life[edit]

The daughter of Jamaican parents, Llewellyn was born Elizabeth Davidson near Brixton, South London.[1][3] and showed interest in music at an early age, playing both the piano and the violin as well as singing while attending Streatham & Clapham High School. Partly influenced by the recordings of opera great Jessye Norman, she chose to pursue singing, and gained a place at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Due to consistent illness which affected her voice,[3] she stopped singing at twenty-two, and soon started work in recruitment and training at an IT company.

Opera career[edit]

Ten years after leaving Royal Northern, Llewellyn returned to music by joining a local amateur operatic society.[4] There, a Guildhall répétiteur encouraged her to return to music.[5] After studies with vocal coach Lillian Watson, and a summer opera course in Italy, she joined the Glyndebourne Festival Opera Chorus.[3][4] While at Glyndebourne, she chose to change her surname from Davidson to her grandfather's name Llewellyn as the actors' union Equity already had a member named Elizabeth Davidson.[1] Llewellyn continued her training at the National Opera Studio, with support from the Peter Moores Foundation. She was awarded the Sir Willard White Trophy as winner of the inaugural Voice of Black Opera competition in Birmingham in 2009.[6]

In 2010, she received an invitation from the English National Opera to play the main part, Mimi, in Jonathan Miller's production of La Bohème. Her performance was widely acclaimed by the press. The Guardian qualified her as "gorgeously toned and rapturous, the evening's real star."[3][7] In 2011, at 36 hours notice, she sang the Countess in Fiona Shaw's production of The Marriage of Figaro at the English National Opera. Writing in Opera News, George Hall commented: "Best of all was the Countess, Elizabeth Llewellyn, whose rich-toned, agile soprano offered a level of vocal quality too often missing elsewhere; her performance was the more remarkable given that she was a late replacement, announced only on the day of performance. ...Llewellyn here confirmed her potential as a rising star of the U.K. soprano firmament."[8] In November 2012, she played Micaela in Carmen, a performance which Tim Ashley of The Guardian saw as her going "from strength to strength".[9] In March 2013, she performed Amelia in Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. Rupert Christiansen wrote that, shining brightly, she succeeded in "negotiating one of Verdi's trickiest arias with elegant aplomb."[10]


  1. ^ a b c d Seighart, Mary Ann. "Profile: Elizabeth Llewellyn". BBC.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Christiansen, Rupert (17 December 2010). "Top 10 in opera 2010". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Christiansen, Rupert (21 November 2012). "Elizabeth Llewellyn, interview: 'I wasn’t afraid of arguing my corner'". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 16 July 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Clark, Andrew. "A grown-up talent". Financial Times. Financial Times Ltd. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Church, Michael (15 October 2010). "Comeback queen Elizabeth Llewellyn is on key". The Independent. London. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "Winners announced in inaugural Voice of Black Opera competition". Opera Now. Rhinegold Publishing. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Tim Ashley, "La Bohème – review", The Guardian, 19 October 2010. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  8. ^ Hall, George. "The Marriage of Figaro, London, English National Opera". Opera News. Metropolitan Opera Guild. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Tim Ashley, "Carmen – review: Coliseum, London", The Guardian, 22 November 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  10. ^ Rupert Christiansen, "Simon Boccanegra, English Touring Opera, review", The Telegraph, 17 March 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013.

External links[edit]