Elizabeth Atherton is represented by Rayfield Allied worldwide.

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Elizabeth Atherton


  • Elizabeth Atherton’s pure-voiced and pleading Micaela is a delight.
    Richard Morrison, The Times (Feb 2013)
  • Startling, inventive and compelling, soprano Elizabeth Atherton inhabits the role of Eurydice with an assuredness that suggests a deep understanding of the part
    Lynne Walker, The Independent
  • Elizabeth Atherton sings with consummate intelligence as the Governess
    Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph
  • Elizabeth Atherton's Micaela is enchanting: radiant top notes, touching acting, clear diction.
    Richard Morrison, The Times
  • Elizabeth Atherton’s soprano, both wonderfully volatile and stylish, grows in intensity until in her Per pietà, she is suffering the torments of Hell.
    Hilary Finch, The Times
  • Elizabeth Atherton’s Countess is radiantly sung, especially her gorgeously poised Porgi amor.
    The Times
  • Atherton’s voice is now not just a lush instrument but a superbly communicative one
    Richard Morrison, The Times
  • “Startling, inventive and compelling” (The Independent), Elizabeth Atherton is equally at home on the opera stage or the concert platform. Her versatility as a musician and as an actress means that she has sung roles ranging from Monteverdi, Handel and Mozart through to Verdi, Bizet and Britten, and she had the roles of Eurydice in Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s opera The Corridor and Medea The Cure created for her to considerable critical acclaim.

    Having won several prestigious prizes including the Maggie Teyte Prize, Elizabeth’s debut was as Helena in Midsummer Night’s Dream for English Touring Opera. She subsequently became an Associate Artist at Welsh National Opera for three years, performing roles including Mozart’s Countess and Pamina, and has since gone on to become a regular performer at Opera North enjoying much success with roles including Mozart’s Fiordiligi and Britten’s Governess.

    In concert, Elizabeth has worked with such eminent conductors as Sir Richard Hickox, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Charles Mackerras, Antonio Pappano, Sir Neville Mariner, Pierre Boulez, Carlo Rizzi, Harry Christophers and Thierry Fischer. She appears frequently with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and other highlights include performances with the BBC Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano, Orchestre de Paris, Hong Kong Philharmonic, The Sixteen and Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

    Recent and upcoming engagements include Thomas Adès’ new opera The Exterminating Angel at the ROH, concerts with BBC NOW under Pascal Rophé, LPO under Vladimir Jurowski, RSNO under Laurence Cummings, St Paul Chamber Orchestra under Paul McCreesh, Handel’s Saul with Harry Christophers and the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, song recitals with Roger Vignoles, a recording of Stravinsky Cantata with the SCO, a reprise of the roles of Eurydice and Medea for the Holland Festival, and her debut as Leonore Fidelio for Longborough Festival Opera.

    • Handel’s Messiah
      St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Ordway Concert Hall (December 2016)

      Poise and dignity also characterized the contributions of soprano Elizabeth Atherton. “I know that my Redeemer liveth” was permeated by a calm confidence and vocal purity totally in keeping with the scriptural message, and in Part One Atherton exuded joy and expectancy in the accompagnato section where an angel appears to the shepherds.
      Terry Blain, Star Tribune
    • Handel’s Saul
      Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Symphony Hall (May 2015)

      For the three other principal roles, Christophers wisely returned to the same singers featured on his recording: ... Elizabeth Atherton as a limpid Merab ... It would be hard to picture a more satisfying conclusion to these seasons of bicentennial programming.
      Jeremy Eichler, Boston Globe
      Five principal soloists without a weak link or a dull moment. ... Evenly competent, or more properly, brilliant, describes the soloists, chorus, and orchestra. ... Elizabeth Atherton sang a very expressive Merab.
      David Schulenberg, The Boston Musical Intelligencer
    • Handel’s Saul
      BBC Singers, Milton Court (April 2016)

      Elizabeth Atherton was mesmerising as Merab, capturing the curving lines in her part to perfection.
      Sam Smith, musicOMH *****
    • Anderson’s Shir Hashirim and Dutilleux’s Les Temps l’horloge
      BBC National Orchestra of Wales (January 2016)

      [Julian Anderson’s Shir Hashirim’s] balancing of the solo soprano’s expansively lyrical outpouring with the brilliant orchestral writing was always finely judged and the dramatic tension of the final part of the work delivered with much flair by Elizabeth Atherton. ... The serious yet witty playing with the passing of time and ultimately a philosophical depth [in Dutilleux’s Le Temps l’horloge] were realised with much sensitivity by Rophé and BBCNOW, with Atherton again excelling. ... Here and in the Anderson, we were treated to highly accomplished singing.
      Rian Evans, The Guardian ****
      These are model compositions, matched here by some wonderful singing by Elizabeth Atherton.
      Stephen Walsh, The Arts Desk *****
      With the exceptional playing of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under conductor, Pascal Rophé, together with the lovely musical intelligence of soprano, Elizabeth Atherton, the work glowed with a vigour belying the advanced years of its composer. Not a note is wasted in Le temps l’horloge (2006-9), nor a vocal inflection or colour ill-judged. ... [In Shir Hashrim], Atherton and musicians were luminous in conveying this seductive score, with its lush colouration and trailing vocal melismas. Now shimmering from within a lake of rippling reflections, now a comet with a fiery, harmonic tail, the soprano was by turns semi-engulfed by and ringing clearly above Anderson’s rich, surging textures. The effect was both magical and strongly rigorous...
      Steph Power, Wales Arts Review
      Soprano Elizabeth Atherton joined the proceedings on two occasions, beginning with Julian Anderson’s setting of words from the Biblical Song of Songs, Shir Hashirim. ... The opening was particularly sumptuous: dreamy, heady, ecstatic, an intoxicating atmosphere that persisted even when things dissolved into a more gestural melée. Atherton’s fittingly sweet voice ... her melismas floating high above the orchestra, Anderson coating them in shifting shades of colour. ... Articulating lines of Tardieu, Desnos and Baudelaire, Elizabeth Atherton’s voice was the constant in material that struck an impressive balance between clarity and obfuscation, mischievously slipping just out of reach. Following a high point in the brief third movement – dark and unsettlingly complex, yet utterly gorgeous – Dutilleux introduced a new assertiveness into the soprano writing, Atherton signing off both the cycle and the evening with an amusing brusque outburst, melody finally breaking down entirely at Baudelaire’s adjuration to the world: “Get drunk!”
      Simon Cummings, bachtrack
      [Elizabeth Atherton's] French diction was excellent.
      Paul Corfield Godfrey, Seen and Heard International
    • Birtwistle’s The Cure & The Corridor Double Bill
      Aldeburgh Festival, Linbury Theatre (June 2015)

      It’s Eurydice, however, who grabs the attention. In Atherton’s mesmerising portrayal she is a sardonic, even embittered woman…
      Richard Morrison, The Times
      Atherton seemed to have the perfect luminous instrument for Birtwistle’s expressionistic lines.
      Paul Driver, The Sunday Times
      Elizabeth Atherton’s singing finds a glinting radiance in both pieces.
      Richard Fairman, The Financial Times
      Elizabeth Atherton is both a wonderfully realistic Euridice and a fine Medea.
      Andrew Clements, The Guardian
      All praise… to the superb… Elizabeth Atherton (Eurydice and Medea).
      Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
      Each piece, taken from Ovid, has two singers, the equally superb tenor Mark Padmore and soprano Elizabeth Atherton.
      Fiona Maddocks, The Observer
      Each scena could stand alone, but each benefits from the other, and from the shared thread of commanding performances. The soprano Elizabeth Atherton sings her roles with abandon: knowing and sarcastic as Woman; distant and lonely as Eurydice; a Kundry and a Salome compressed in a cauldron of erotic enchantment as Medea.
      David Allen, The New York Times
    • Moses und Aron
      Welsh National Opera (June 2014)

      The supporting roles (and few of them have much scope to emerge as individuals) were well sung and sharply characterised; Elizabeth Atherton’s sportswear-clad Young Maiden stood out.
      Richard Bratby, Birmingham Post ****
    • The Yellow Wallpaper
      BBCNOW (October 2013)

      Elizabeth Atherton delivered a performance of instrumental clarity and perfect articulation.
      Rian Evans, The Guardian ****
    • Brahm’s German Requiem
      Royal Northern Sinfonia (September 2013)

      Under Thomas Zehetmair’s conducting, orchestra, chorus and two excellent soloists – bass-baritone Matthew Brook and soprano Elizabeth Atherton – did full justice to a work which betrays a winning lightness of touch.
      David Whetstone, The Journal
    • Carmen
      Royal Albert Hall (February 2013)

      Elizabeth Atherton’s pure-voiced and pleading Micaela is a delight.
      Richard Morrison, The Times
    • Gloria / Ballad of the Heroes
      Oxford Bach Choir (December 2012)

      The soprano Elizabeth Atherton deserves special praise for the gravitas she brought to Psalm 130, Ballad of Heroes and especially to the Poulenc.
      Simon Collings, Oxford Times
    • Zemlinsky’s Lyric Symphony
      BBC National Orchestra of Wales / Van Steen (November 2012)

      ...but it was Elizabeth Atherton who made her songs come alive, finding colours and tone to match the words' emotional tenor. In the penultimate poem, where the orchestration is at its most spare and telling, she found both ‘intimacy and anguish'.
      Rian Evans, The Guardian
    • Don Giovanni
      Opera North (September 2012)

      Opera North veteran Elizabeth Atherton gives a terrific portrayal of Donna Elvira, from striking condemnations to moving arias.
      Richard Wilcocks, Bach Track
      Elizabeth Atherton sings Donna Elvira's big, heartfelt arias with admirable clarity and poise.
      Richard Morrison, The Times
      Making a similar impact is Elizabeth Atherton, whose beautifully-sung Donna Elvira is more human than most.
      Ron Simpson, WhatsOnStage
      Elizabeth Atherton as Elvira gave a powerful performance.
      Opera Now
      Elizabeth Atherton’s Donna Elvira rose above the confusion with touching performances of her arias, reminders of the humanity behind the high jinks.
      Martin Dreyer, Opera Magazine
    • On This Island with Malcolm Martineau
      Onyx Records (December 2011)

      The soprano Elizabeth Atherton also struck up a wonderful rapport with her audience in Britten’s On this Island. Atherton’s voice is now not just a lush instrument but a superbly communicative one: she caught exactly the subtle moods – bittersweet, ironic or heartfelt – of Auden’s words and Britten’s early unfettered lyricism.
      Richard Morrison, The Times
      Elizabeth Atherton was lustrous and dramatic in On this Island.
      Paul Driver, The Sunday Times
      Elizabeth Atherton gives a musically alert and intelligent interpretation of another early work, the enchantingly fresh and youthful On this Island
      Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph
      Allan Clayton and Elizabeth Atherton give superb accounts of the declamatory Michelangelo Sonnets and the settings of Auden's On This Island respectively
      Andrew Clements, The Guardian
      the bright soprano of Elizabeth Atherton sings out the ‘florid music’ of Britten’s Auden settings in On this Island…Britten’s 15-year-old response to Dans les bois, irresistibly sung by Atherton.
      BBC Music Magazine ****
    • Saul
      The Sixteen (December 2011)

      Elizabeth Atherton flung herself wholeheartedly into Merab’s music.
      Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph
      Atherton displayed a nice line in temperament as the haughty Merab.
      Robert Hugill, Opera Today
      at her best [Elizabeth Atherton’s] coloratura soared, her dexterous high notes even more impressive...than Ms. Harvey’s. She brought genuine hauteur to ‘What abject thought a prince can have’, her snarling demeanor granting her a truly theatrical presence on stage.
      John E. de Wald, Opera Britannia
  • Elizabeth Atherton’s Concert Repertoire

    • De stijl
    • Magnificat (1st and 2nd sopranos)
    • St. John passion
    • St. Matthew passion
    • B minor mass (2nd soprano)
    • Christmas oratorio, parts I-III
    • Cantata numbers 1, 11, 38, 51, 63, 140, 146, 202, 208
    • "Choral" Symphony no.9
    • Mass in C
    • Sieben frühe Lieder
    • Altenberglieder
    • Der Wein
    • Les nuits d’été
    • Le soleil des eaux
    • Requiem
    • Les illuminations
    • Spring Symphony
    • Trois ballades de François Villon
    • Le Martyre de San Sebastian
    • Requiem
    • Coronation ode, op.44
    • The Spirit of England
    • Requiem
    • Messe basse
    • Messe solonelle St. Cecile
    • Messiah
    • Let the bright seraphim
    • Silete venti
    • German arias
    • Solomon
    • Saul
    • Te deum
    • The creation
    • The seasons
    • Nelson mass
    • Missa cellensis
    • Paukenmesse
    • St. Nicholas mass
    • Theresienmesse
    • Harmonienmesse
    • The Yellow Wallpaper
    • The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace
    • Ocean de Terre
    • Missa brevis
    • Via crucis
    • Missa choralis
    • Symphony no. 2
    • Symphony no. 4
    • Elijah
    • Hear my prayer
    • La mort du nombre
    • Requiem
    • Ch'io mi scordi di te, K.505
    • Vado, ma dove?, K.583
    • Exsultate jubilate
    • Coronation mass
    • Sparrow mass
    • Mass in C minor
    • Missa brevis in D
    • Missa brevis in F
    • Laudate dominum
    • Magnificat
    • Gloria
    • Mass in G
    • Vocalise
    • Psalms
    • Mass in E flat
    • Mass in G
    • Mass in B flat
    • The angels
    • Vier Letzte Lieder
    • Mass
    • Les noces
    • Threni
    • Pulcinella
    • A child of our time
    • A vision of Saint Augustine
    • Offrandes
    • "Sea" Symphony
    • "Antarctic" Symphony
    • Mass in G minor
    • Serenade to Music
    • Dona Nobis Pacem
    • Requiem
    • Four Sacred Pieces
    • Gloria (1st and 2nd sopranos)
    • Nulla in mundo pax sincera
    • Perfume of the desert
    • Lyric Symphony

    Elizabeth Atherton’s Recital Repertoire

    • Life story
    • Spring
    • Sleep
    • Diaphenia
    • A garland for Marjory Fleming
    • Sieben frühe Lieder
    • Oh, lurcher-loving collier
    • Eyes look into the well
    • Les nuits d’été
    • I hate music
    • The shadow side of Joy Finzi
    • Various songs
    • Les Illuminations
    • On this Island
    • The Salley Gardens
    • Little Sir William
    • The trees they grow so high
    • The ash grove
    • Oliver Cromwell
    • Folksong arrangements, volume 2: France
    • Prelude (for sop. & trumpet)
    • Le temps des lilas
    • Cinq Poëmes de Baudelaire
    • Fêtes Galantes (1st collection)
    • Deux Romances
    • Trois ballades de François Villon
    • First four Ariettes Oubliees
    • Le son du cor s’afflige
    • L’échelonnement des haies
    • To the queen of my heart
    • Love's philosophy
    • Indian love song
    • Five Am’rous Sighs
    • Weep you no more sad fountains
    • The cuckoo
    • It was a lover
    • Take O take those lips away
    • Come away, Death
    • Crabbed age and youth
    • Extase
    • La vie anterieure
    • Le manoir de Rosemonde
    • L'invitation au voyage
    De Falla
    • Siete Canciones Populares Espanolas
    • Le papillon et la fleur
    • Mai
    • La rose
    • Notre amour
    • Après un rêve
    • Au bord de l'eau
    • Automne
    • Chanson d'amour
    • En prière
    • Lydia
    • Au cimetière
    • Sleep
    • The mermaid's song
    • She never told her love
    • Piercing eyes
    • A pastoral song
    • Philomel (for sop., rec., cello & pno)
    • Various songs
    • Her song
    • The Salley Gardens
    • An aside
    • Epilogue
    • The soldier’s return
    • The trellis
    • Beckon to me to come
    • A thanksgiving
    • Wherever We May Be
    • The rose is shaken in the wind (for sop. & recorder)
    • Various songs
    • Im Rhein, im schönen Strome
    • Die Lorelei
    • Kennst du das Land
    • Sun, moon and stars
    • Frühlingsmorgen
    • Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht?
    • Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen
    • Lob des hohen Verstands
    • An Chloe
    • Abendempfindung
    • Das Veilchen
    • Als Luise die Briefe
    • Der Zauberer
    • Komm, liebe Zither
    • Se tu m'ami
    • Banalités
    • Deux Poemes de Louis Aragon
    • La grenouillère
    • Violon
    • Les chemins de l'amour
    • Vocalise (for sop., cello & piano)
    • Music for a while
    • I attempt from love’s sickness
    • The blessed virgin's expostulation
    • Sweeter than roses
    • Quilter
    • Now sleeps the crimson petal
    • Fair house of joy
    • Love’s philosophy
    • A dream
    • Spring waters
    • Cinq Poèmes Populaires Grecques
    • My boy Jack
    • Duets: La regata Veneziana
    • La pesca
    • Palladas
    • Sento nel core
    • Schönberg
    • Four Songs, Opus 2
    • An Sylvia
    • An den Frühling
    • Im Frühling
    • Fischerweise
    • Hymne an die Jungfrau
    • Nacht und Träume
    • Der Einsame
    • Die junge Nonne
    • Des Mädchens Klage
    • Frauenliebe und –leben
    • Er ist’s
    • Marienwürmchen
    • Dein Angesicht
    • Kennst du das Land
    • Widmung
    • Mit Myrthen und Rosen
    • Schöne Wiege meiner Leiden
    • Frühlingsnacht
    • Day is dune
    • To autumn (for sop. & recorder)
    • Vier Letzte Lieder
    • Die Zeitlose
    • Alphorn (for sop., horn & piano)
    • Morgen
    • Die Nacht
    • Drei Liebeslieder
    • None but the lonely heart
    • Can it be day?
    • A Song for the Lord Mayor's Table
    • Anon. in Love
    • Daphne
    • Through gilded trellises
    • Old Sir Faulk
    • Sleep
    • Cradle song
    • It was a lover and his lass
    • Eight Early Songs
    • Stolz (Die sieben Todsünden
    • My bed is like a boat
    • Auch kleine Dinge
    • Mir ward gesagt
    • Wer rief dich denn?
    • Nun lass uns Frieden schliessen
    • Du denkst mit einem Fädchen
    • Mein Liebster ist so klein
    • Mein Liebster singt am Haus
    • Du sagst mir, dass ich keine Fürstin sein
    • Wohl kenn’ ich Eueren Stand
    • Ich hab’ in Penna
    • Heiss mich nicht reden
    • Elfenlied

    Elizabeth Atherton’s Opera Repertoire

    • The Corridor (Eurydice)
    • Carmen (Micaela)
    • Rape of Lucretia (Female Chorus)
    • A Midsummer Night's Dream (Helena)
    • Turn of the Screw (Governess)
    • L’Opera Seria (La Stonatrilla)
    • Iphigénie en Tauride(Iphigénie)
    • Alcina (Alcina)
    • Amadigi (Melissa)
    • Saul (Merab)
    • Savitri (Savitri)
    • Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (Minerva)
    • Idomeneo (Ilia)
    • Marriage of Figaro (La Contessa)
    • Magic Flute (Pamina)
    • Don Giovanni (Donna Elvira)
    • Così fan Tutte (Fiordiligi)
    • Fairy Queen(Caroline)
    • L’heure Espagnole (Conception)
    • Moses und Aron (Young Maiden)
    • Riders to the Sea (Cathleen)
    • Riders to the Sea (Nora)
    • Don Carlos (Thibault)
    • Dreigroschenoper (Polly)
  • Photos

    • Photographer Credit: Kiran Ridley
      Photographer Credit: Kiran Ridley
    • Photographer Credit: Kiran Ridley
      Photographer Credit: Kiran Ridley
    • Photographer Credit: Kiran Ridley
      Photographer Credit: Kiran Ridley
    • Photographer Credit: Kiran Ridley
      Photographer Credit: Kiran Ridley
    • Photographer Credit: Kiran Ridley
      Photographer Credit: Kiran Ridley
    • Photographer Credit: Kiran Ridley
      Photographer Credit: Kiran Ridley