The American soprano Elizabeth Calleo was born in Italy to an American musical family and raised in Salzburg Austria. She did her vocal studies at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester and at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. In the United States she has performed the operatic roles of Despina (Cosi fan Tutte), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel), Lucia (The Rape of Lucretia), Ernestine (R.S.V.P), the Princess (L’Enfant et les sortilèges), and Barbarina (Le Nozze di Figaro). Her solo concert credits include Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with the Eastman Philharmonic, Haydn’s Creation and Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate with The Concerto Soloists, as well as Pergolesi’s La Morte di San Giuseppe with the NY Collegium under Fabio Biondi. She has traveled to Japan to be a soloist with the Tokyo City Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah and Bach’s Weihnachtsoratorium under the direction of Jos van Veldhoven, and to Genoa, Italy with the Ensemble XVIII-21 to sing in Couperin’s Les Leçons de Ténèbres conducted by Jean-Christophe Frisch.
In France, she was granted a Rotary Ambassadorial and a Harriet Wooley Scholarship to study Baroque Music and made her French opera debut in 2001 as Amour in a French tour of Lully’s Cadmus et Hermione conducted by Christophe Rousset in the Festival d’Ambronay. Following engagements with Opéra Massy and Opéra Montpellier included Yniold in Pelléas et Mélisande conducted by Armin Jordan, Fortuna/Damigella in Didone by Cavalli, and Morgana in Handel’s Alcina, both conducted by Christophe Rousset, Papagena in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte with Marc Minkowski, Zaide in Mozart’s Zaide with Samuel Jean, and La Cretoise in Campra’s Idoménée in the Festival Royaumont with Jean-Claude Malgoire. She was featured as Bastienne in Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne conducted by Laurence Equilbey, an Opéra Rouen production reproduced at Opéra d’Orléans and Cité de la Musique, broadcast on Radio France in 2004, on ARTE in 2008, and released as a DVD by Naïve in 2010.
Other recent performances and recordings (Naxos) include roles in Sancho Pança by Philidor and Le Magnifique by Gretry with Opera Lafayette in the Kennedy and Lincoln Centers (United States). She made her debut at Opéra Comique and the Wiener Konzerthaus with Marc Minkowski as First Spirit in Massenet’s Cendrillon directed by Benjamin Lazar, as well as the Théâtre de l’Athénée as Anne Trulove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, conducted by Franck Ollu. She has created the following roles in contemporary music: La Duchesse de Guise in Le Massacre by Wolfgang Mitterer, conducted by Peter Rundel (recorded by Col Legno) and directed by Ludovic Lagarde, with a tour in France, Portugal, Spain, and Lithuania, two commissions by IRCAM at the Centre Pompidoo in the Festival Agora (broadcast on France Musique) with musikFabrik conducted by Enno Poppe, the role of Noa in Terra by Luca Francesconi at the Teatro di San Carlo (Naples) conducted by Jonathan Webb and directed by Jean Kalman commissioned for the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy (broadcast on RAI Television); and the title role La Cantatrice in The Second Woman by Frédéric Verrières, produced by Bouffes du Nord, conducted by Jean Deroyer and directed by Guillaume Vincent (Winner of Best Contemporary Creation by a French Composer), which will be filmed by ARTE. She will sing the World Premier of a newly discovered Debussy Song and the American Premier of four others found this coming fall in the Prismatic Debussy Festival in the United States (Eastman School of Music).