Elise Quagliata, mezzo-soprano, has gained notice over the past decade for the unique beauty of her voice, her musical intelligence, theatrical range and the riveting effect she has had on audiences everywhere. She has made a name for herself in contemporary as well as in traditional works.
Regularly appearing as Carmen in the past several seasons for New York City Opera's tours of Carmen in Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East, the artist reprised the role for City Opera's second summer at New York City's Bryant Park. This season, 2018-19, she performs Carmen with the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera. As Carmen with Utah Opera in 2016, Opera News noted that she "commanded attention" with her "dusky mezzo, dramatic acumen and pulchritude.” Early on, Ms. Quagliata's Carmen captivated critics and audiences alike. In her performance for Pensacola Opera, reviewers praised her as "simply riveting" (Pensacola News Journal); ready to "spontaneously combust - the girl is on fire" (The Independent News); and "one of the finest Carmens I have ever seen" (Mobile Register).
Ms. Quagliata was featured in the opening season of the "new" New York City Opera as Hedda Hopper in Stewart Wallace’s Hopper’s Wife. The New York Times declared that she “rightly stole the show, her vocally and physically nuanced portrayal vividly conveying the evolution of the character." In Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music, Opera News found her “deliciously caustic” Countess Charlotte Malcolm "threatened to purloin the evening." As Maria in Maria de Buenos Aires, Astor Piazzolla's tango tour-de-force, Opera Today remarked that she “showed off her poised tone to perfection in a wide range of demanding emotional states. Dramatically and musically, she does not so much perform the part as inhabit it. A remarkable star turn.”
The 2018-2019 season includes a recording of composer Luna Pearl Woolf’s songs with cellist Matt Haimovitz; soloist for Milwaukee's Florentine Opera 85th Anniversary Celebration Concert; and singing Emilia in Verdi’s Otello with Austin Opera. She will also reprise her turn as Joan Clarke in Justine Chen's The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing with Chicago Opera Theater, a role she originated for American Lyric Theater, praised as "vibrant" by the The New York Times.
An impressive recitalist, the artist has performed in New York City, Miami and Pensacola, where she welcomed the King and Queen of Spain with DeFalla and Obradors. She has been featured on university recital series in Illinois, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Florida, as well as in concert venues in Switzerland and Italy. Adept in a variety of repertoire from early music to contemporary and from jazz to cabaret, Ms. Quagliata has been especially lauded for her exceptional performances of American, Czech, German and Spanish works, and praised for the "glorious grace" which has characterized her interpretation of standards from Cole Porter to Kurt Weill.
Photo by Cat Lundgren