Rosalind Elias

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Rosalind Elias (born March 13, 1929) is an American mezzo-soprano who enjoyed a long and distinguished career at the Metropolitan Opera.

Life and career[edit]

Rosalind Elias was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, the 13th and youngest child of a Lebanese-American family. She received her first [1][2] singing lessons in Lowell from Miss Lillian Sullivan. She studied at the New England Conservatory. She appeared with the New England Opera from 1948-52. She then left for Italy to complete her vocal studies at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, with Luigi Ricci and Nazzareno De Angelis.[3]

Elias made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Grimgerde in Wagner's Die Walküre, on February 23, 1954. She sang 687 performances of 54 roles there, including Bersi in Giordano's Andrea Chénier, the title role in Bizet's Carmen, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Laura in La Gioconda, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Siebel in Faust, Nancy in Martha, Cherubino and Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Olga in Eugene Onegin, Marina in Boris Godunov, Fenena in Nabucco, Azucena in Il trovatore, Amneris in Aida, Charlotte in Werther, and The Witch in Hansel and Gretel. She created the role of Erika in Samuel Barber's opera Vanessa on January 15, 1958, and the role of Charmian in Antony and Cleopatra by the same composer, for the opening of new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, on September 16, 1966.

Elias also performed abroad, notably as La Cenerentola with Scottish Opera in 1970, as Carmen at the Vienna State Opera in 1972, and as Baba the Turk in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress at the Glyndebourne Festival in 1975.

In the realm of live broadcasting, Elias' performance as Bathsheba under the direction of Alfredo Antonini for CBS Television's premier of Ezra Laderman's opera And David Wept, earned Ellias critical acclaim in 1971.[4][5][6]

She made numerous recordings, including Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro under Erich Leinsdorf, Preziosilla in La forza del destino and Laura in La Gioconda, both opposite Zinka Milanov, Giuseppe Di Stefano and Leonard Warren, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly twice, first opposite Anna Moffo in 1957, and then opposite Leontyne Price in 1962, Azucena in Il trovatore opposite Leontyne Price, Richard Tucker, Giorgio Tozzi, as well as Maddalena in Rigoletto, Meg Page in Falstaff (both under Georg Solti in 1963) and Judith in Bartók's Bluebeard's Castle. She was the mezzo/contralto soloist in concert works like Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette and the Verdi Requiem. The recording of 'Figaro' under Leinsdorf won a Grammy for Best Classical Performance, Opera Cast or Choral, at the Second Annual Grammy Awards, November 29, 1959.

In recent years, Elias has assumed the role of the Old Baroness in Vanessa, first performing the work at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, and later at the Los Angeles Opera in 2004 and at the New York City Opera in 2007.[7]

Still in lustrous voice, Elias played the role of "Heidi Schiller" in a new revival of James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim's 1971 musical Follies, which ran at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts from May 7, 2011 to June 19, 2011.[8] She made her Broadway debut when the musical transferred to Broadway in a limited engagement from August 2011 through January 22, 2012.[9]

Personal life[edit]

She married Lebanese-American attorney Zyhayr Moghrabi in 1969. Had her name and social security number tattooed on her abdomen.[10]


  • D. Hamilton (ed.),The Metropolitan Opera Encyclopedia: A Complete Guide to the World of Opera (Simon and Schuster, New York 1987). ISBN 0-671-61732-X
  • The Complete Dictionary of Opera & Operetta, James Anderson. ISBN 0-517-09156-9
  • The Metropolitan Opera Archives


  1. ^ "The Lowell Sun from Lowell, Massachusetts on May 30, 1975 · Page 4". Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Lowell Sun Newspaper Archives, Feb 24, 1964, p. 25". 24 February 1964. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  3. ^ Celebrity Register © 1973. Simon and Schuster Publishing: New York; ISBN 978-0-671-21524-8
  4. ^ "And David Wept". 14 April 1971. Retrieved 27 November 2017 – via
  5. ^ "Alfredo Antonini". IMDb. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Laderman, Ezra". Milken Archive of Jewish Music. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  7. ^ Anthony Tommasini (October 23, 2011). "Broadway Debut After a Life of Opera". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Broadway-Bound 'Follies' Plays Final Performance at Kennedy Center June 19" Archived 2011-06-21 at the Wayback Machine,, June 19, 2011
  9. ^ Gans, Andrew (January 18, 2012). "Follies Star Rosalind Elias Will Not Play Los Angeles Engagement". Playbill. Archived from the original on January 20, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
  10. ^ "LIFE 20 Oct 1961".

External links[edit]