Elisa Sutherland is a mezzo-soprano known for her detailed, stylistic interpretations of both early and new music. This upcoming season, she will perform with Philadelphia's The Crossing, New York ensembles Ekmeles, TENET Vocal Artists, Clarion Choir and New Chamber Ballet, Roomful of Teeth, Cleveland's Apollo's Fire, Miami’s Seraphic Fire, and her own early and new music sextet, Variant 6.
Elisa has performed as a soloist with TENET Vocal Artists, Apollo’s Fire, American Bach Soloists, Apollo Chorus of Chicago, and Quicksilver Baroque, singing Bach's Mass in b minor, Handel's Messiah, and Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri. In the realm of contemporary music, she has premiered works for voice and chamber orchestra for university and professional ensembles. Elisa has a special love for art song, and has sung with LyricFest, Philadelphia's premiere art song concert series, and the Brooklyn Art Song Society.
In addition to winning the Philadelphia District of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions in 2015, Elisa is the 2014 winner of the Lynne Harvey Cooper Award, and was the first-place winner of the inaugural Handel Aria Competition at the Madison Early Music Festival in 2013. Recent opera roles include Hera in Chris Cerrone’s All Wounds Bleed, Ensemble in Michael Gordon’s Acquanetta with the Prototype Festival, Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Meg in Little Women, Ottavia in L'incoronazione di Poppea, and Nancy in Albert Herring. Elisa is also remembered for her Blazing Saddles - Madeline Kahn impression in a production of Die Fledermaus.
Elisa graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance. She lives in Brooklyn.
“Sutherland’s soul-infused expressiveness and unselfconscious joie de vivre explain why she was front and center throughout much of the show.”
'“‘Why do I use’ was the evening’s sole composition with English words; it featured the only solo artist, the splendid mezzo-soprano Elisa Sutherland, in her debut season with the [Santa Fe Desert] Chorale." - John W Lamber
"The vocalists here catapulted an onslaught of words and textures from the stage as the lights periodically dimmed and got brighter. They warbled, clucked, croaked, rasped, mumbled, groaned and belted out incongruous snatches of lyrics ... At one point Ms Sutherland squeaked out, “Dandelions make nice candles if they are dried up... make a wish and blow out the candles.” - Rebecca Lentjes
The Daily Page, 2013:
"Sutherland's expressive "Dopo notte" from Ariodante was particularly impressive, her melismatic passages exhibiting an obvious ease in phrasing. Her singing range was broad, with very distinct contrasts in timbre between pitches and a distinctively lush tone on lower notes. Sutherland sang each piece with great attention to detail and near-flawless intonation, getting into character while embodying the technical and artistic facets of the music." - Marie Loeffler
As Nancy in Albert Herring, 2012:
"Elisa Sutherland was a poised and affecting Nancy." - Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review