Biography

Elena Xanthoudakis – Soprano – Lyric Coloratura

Award winning and versatile soprano, Elena Xanthoudakis is an expressive performer whose enthusiastic reviews speak of her captivating and engaging performances.

Recent performances include Gilda in Opera Queensland’s new production of Rigoletto for which she received exceptional reviews, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor for Winslow Hall, September 2014, again to enthusiastic acclaim. Elena has performed in a series of concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as recitals and concerts in London, including a ‘Winter Prom’ at St John Smith Square in December 2014 where she performed Mozart’s rarely performed masterpiece, the concert aria “Ch’io mi scordi di te” Op. 505 with concert pianist Jayson Gillham and orchestra. Other performances included performing in a Gala Tribute concert for Maria Callas in the Herodion Atticus at the foot of the Acropolis, Athens with the Greek National Opera. Up coming engagements include another Maria Callas Gala, this time at the al-Bustian festival in Lebanon, as well as her debut as Violetta in La Traviata and a bel canto style opera, to be announced. Elena will perform Bach’s cantata ‘Weichet Nur” BWV 202 for the Melbourne Musicians and perform in recitals with her Trio.

2013 performances included a return to the British Music Festival to sing Sullivan’s Golden Legend and her return to the Metropolitan Opera to cover both Gilda in Rigoletto and Countess Adele in Comte Ory, Mozart’s Requiem for the Melbourne Symphony as well as singing First Niece in Peter Grimes for the  Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. 

2012 began with performances with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra New Year’s  concerts with Nicholas McGegan, and returns in February for Beethoven’s Mass in C with Louis Langrée, followed by a concerts in Australia to promote the CD release ‘The Shepherd and the Mermaid’ with TrioKROMA (piano, voice and clarinet). She then made her Glyndebourne debut as Clorinda La Cenerentola, as well as performing Carmina Burana for the Oxford Philharmusica, singing Delius’s 7 Danish Orchestral Songs for the British Music Festival.  Elena then returned to the  English National Opera as Pamina in The Magic Flute to excellent acclaim and performed Carmina Burana at the Royal Albert Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

2011 saw Elena Xanthoudakis perform Messiah with the RSNO, Marzelline Fidelio with the OAE, and Strauss’ Four Last Songs at the Brighton Festival and covering Countess Adele Le Comte Ory for the Metropolitan Opera of New York. She performed Jemmy Guillaume Tell (BBC Proms) with Pappano and the Accademia di Santa Cecila and sang both Lisa and Amina Sonnambula at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.   Other successes include her Canadian debut at Opera de Quebec as  Lucia di Lammermoor, Frasquita Carmen at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (‘07,’09,’11), Adina L’elisir d’amore for Scottish Opera and Victorian Opera, Miss Schlesen Satyagraha at ENO (2007 & 2010), Euridice and Genio in Haydn’s L’anima del Filosofo for Pinchgut Opera – 2010.

General biog info:

Elena has performed with such orchestras as the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Sydney Philharmonia Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, St Petersburg Camerata, Orchestra de Quebec, Oxford Philomusica, Royal Philharmonic Orchesta, Krakow and Poznan Filharmonia Orchestras, Mozarteum Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment and Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Roma.  In concert and recital, Elena has performed in Japan, Hong-Kong, St Petersburg, Montreal, and Quebec-City, in Germany, the U.S and throughout Australia, the UK, Ireland, and Italy.

Elena’s concert engagements include Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mass in C, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle and Stabat Mater, Bach’s Missa Brevis, B Minor Mass, St.John Passion, St.Matthew Passion, Christmas Oratorio & several cantatas, Delius 7 Danish Orchestral Songs, Fauré Requiem, Handel Messiah and Jeptha, Mozart Requiem, Exultate Jubilate, Mozart Concert Arias at Salzburg’s prestigious ‘Mozart Woche’, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder, Sutherland’s ‘Golden Legend’ and the Vivaldi and the Poulenc Gloria’s. 

Elena has performed for such opera houses as English National Opera, Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opera de Quebec, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Victorian Opera (Melbourne), Pinchgut Opera (Sydney), Opera Queensland, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence), Opera National du Rhin and the BBC Proms.

Elena’s operatic roles include Amina and Lisa La Sonnambula; Marzelline, Fidelio; Leila, Les pêcheurs de perles; Frasquita and Micaela, Carmen; Lucia, Lucia di Lammermoor; Adina, L’elisir d’amore; Miss Schlesen, Satyagraha;  Amor, Orfeo ed Euridice; Iris, Semele; Dalinda, Ariodante; Euridice and Genio, L’anima del Filosofo; Krista, Věc Makropulos; Blonde, Die Enftürung aud dem Seragil; Pamina, Die Zauberflöte; Ismene Mitridate Re di Ponto; Xenia, Boris Godunoff; Sister Constance, Dialogue of the Carmelites; Dido, Dido and Aeneas; Matilde, Matilde di Shabran; Jemmy, Guillaume Tell; La Contessa di Folleville, Il viaggio a Rheims; Clorinda, La Cenerentola; Comtesse Adele, Le Comte Ory; Ann Truelove, The Rake’s Progress; Gilda, Rigoletto, amongst others..

Elena has won over 80 first prizes in Competition and Eisteddfodau in Australia. Elena as won prizes in ’Herald Sun Aria’, ‘Australian Youth Aria’, Australian National Liederfest, ‘Sydney Performing Arts Challenge-McDonalds Aria’, and the ‘Marianne Mathy Awards’, Marten Bequest Scholarship, received an Australian Arts Council Grant to study in London and an ‘Acclaim Award’ to study in Florence at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. 

International prizes include being a multi-laureate at the ‘Jeunesse Musicales – Voix’, Montreal (including receiving the prize for ‘Best performance of the set Canadian composition’), the ‘Tait Memorial Trust Vocal Prize’ in the Performing Australian Music Competition, London and is a prizewinner in Placido Domingo’s  ‘Operalia.’ Elena also won the Maria Callas International Grand Prix’ (Oratorio – Lied) in Athens, the prestigious ‘International Mozart Competition in Salzburg, and both the female first-prize and overall Grand prize in the International Adam Didur Opera Singers Competition Poland.  Elena is a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Artist.

Elena Xanthoudakis holds a Bachelor of Music with Honours and a Graduate Diploma of Opera from the Victorian College of the Arts as well as a Master of Music Performance degree from the University of Melbourne. While on scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, she also received her second Master of Music with distinction.

Elena also undertook studies in part of the young artist programme at the Maggio Musicale (2003) and the Harewood Young Artist Programme  ENO. Elena was awarded a Solti Foundation Award to undertake Italian language studies in Florence and has participated in masterclasses at the Opera Studio at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome with La Signora Scotto.

Recordings include: Frasquita, Carmen (ROH – Decca DVD); Krista, The Makropulos Case (ENO – Chandos CD); Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang (Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra – ABC Classics CD); Euridice & Genio, L’anima del filosofo (Pinchgut Opera Live CD); Jemmy, Guillaume Tell (Accademia di Santa Cecilia – EMI CD); Frasquita, Carmen (ROH – 3D cinema release and Bluray DVD). Current Release: ‘Jewels of the Bel Canto – Arias Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi and Rossini’ with Maestro Richard Bonynge and the RNS (SIGNUM).  Upcoming release: The Shepherd and the Mermaid’ – German Romantic music for piano, voice & clarinet. 

Reviews:

Soprano Elena Xanthoudakis is a sheer delight as Adina, colouring every sung moment with refreshing clarity and agility or, where called for, plaintive reflection.

The Scotsman (L’elisir d’amore - Scottish Opera)

Especially memorable is Elena Xanthoudakis’s Pamina, voiced with shining tone and a fine appreciation of the music’s lyrical contours.                                             

The Guardian (The Magic Flute – ENO – 2012)

But it is the women that steal the show – and one woman in particular. Elena Xanthoudakis as Gilda is dazzling. The role has the potential to be a dull stock character – a naïve female victim. But Xanthoudakis has it all: the adolescent playfulness of the Duke’s daughter, the youthful terror of the adult world she’s been thrust into and, above all, the notes.                                                                                                                                            …..It was and is an opera well worth seeing, if only to catch a rising star in Elena Xanthoudakis.  

Limelight Magazine (Rigoletto – Opera Queensland 2014)

Repertoire can be found here: Operatic, Oratorio, Lieder and Art Song

A list of Awards, Scholarships, Eisteddfodau and Competition Prizes can be found here

Elena Xanthoudakis –  Long Biography with background.

Versatile and experienced performer, Elena Xanthoudakis completed her Bachelor of Music Performance (Honours), at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia in 2001. She also holds a Master of Music Performance at the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma of Opera from the VCA.

In the summer of 2002 she was one of eight singers from around Australia chosen to participate in the Australian National Academy of Music’s Summer School and was also chosen to participate in a ANAM Vocal Masterclass with Cord Garben in August 2003. Also in January 2003 Elena was chosen to participate in the Ronald Dowd National Summer School for Singers ‘Mastercourse in Opera’ in Sydney with Victor Morris.

Winning over 80 first prizes in Eisteddfodau in Australia, Elena has won the ‘Armstead Scholarship’, Australian Youth Aria 2003, 2003 ‘Maria Callas Grand Prix’ in Oratorio-Lied in Athens and the Australian National Liederfest 2004. She also has held many scholarships including VCA’s Mabel Kent Estate Singing Scholarship, Harold Fischer Scholarship for Opera part-scholarship from VCA, as well as the Mabel Kent Singing Scholarship from the University Of Melbourne. She has also been fortunate to receive a grant from the Australian Arts Council for her study at the Guildhall, London 2004-5, and the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship 2006.

An experienced Oratorio performer Elena has performed as soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Melbourne with Piero Gamba, Bach’s ‘Missa Brevis in A Major’, ‘B Minor Mass’, ‘Cantata BWV82a’, Haydn’s ‘St Nicholas Mass’, Vivaldi and Poulenc’s ‘Gloria’, Rosinni’s ‘Stabat Mater’, Monteverdi’s ‘Exsula Fillia’, Mozart ‘Requiem’ and Handel’s ‘Messiah’.

She has performed in various concert and recitals in Australia and abroad, including in St Petersburg at the Hermitage, Hong Kong, Montreal, Salt-Lake City, throughout Tuscany and the Abruzzo regions in Italy and performances have included a ‘Schubertiade’ recital in Wiesbaden, Germany.

With support from the Cheltenham Rotary, Elena was able to undertake studies in the young artists program at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, in Florence, Italy from April to July 2004 where she performed ‘La Contessa di Folleville’ in Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Rheims.

Other operatic roles include Anne Truelove in Stravinski’s ‘The Rakes’ Progress’ performed in collarboration with VCA opera and OzOpera, Leila in Bizet’s ‘The Pearl Fishers’ and Pamina in ‘The Magic Flute’ with Opera Melbourne.

In 2005, as well as completing her Masters at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with distinction, Elena received the Third place and the special prize for the ‘Best interpretation of the set piece’ – a contemporary composition, at the Montreal International Competition for Voice 2005. She took part in chorus in Britten’s ‘Peter Grimes’ with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Trevor Nunn in Salzburg. Whie only 2 months at the GSMD Elena auditions for the Royal Opera and though still studying was offered to cover the role of Ismene in Mozart’s ‘Mitridate, Re di Ponto’ for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She also as covering the role of Sister Constance in ‘The Dialogue of the Carmelites’ for ENO and auditioned for Sir Charles Mackerras who chose her for the following seasons at ENO.  She also performed Dido in ‘Dido and Aeneas’ by Purcell in Bath.

2006 saw Elena performing Rossini’s ‘Petite Messe Solennelle’ in Montreal aswell as playing ‘Krista’ in The Makropulos Case with Sir Charles Mackerras for ENO and covering ‘Dalinda’ in Handel’s ‘Ariodante'(ENO). Elena also sang Frasquita for the Longborough Festival Opera in June. 2006 continued in great style as Elena was proclaimed the winner of the International Mozart Competition in Salzburg August 2006, and then Elena toured a ‘Mozart Arias’ program with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in Australia throughout October. In December/January 2006/7 she made her debut at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden playing ‘Frasquita ‘in Carmen.

In 2007, Elena performed ‘Miss Schlesen’ in Satyagraha for ENO in April and ‘Xenia’ in Boris Godunoff in Strasbourg for Opera National du Rhin in June. This was followed by solo recitals in Japan in July and recorded Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in August.  While in Australia she performed in ‘Marvellous Mozart’ at BMW Edge with the Melbourne Musicians and featuring her brother clarinetist Jason Xanthoudakis. Other performances included Handel’s Messiah in Dunblane Cathedral in December. Elena then sang Frasquita at ENO and to finish the year she returned to the Royal Opera House over Christmas and New Year to play ‘Clorinda’ in La Cenerentola – Rossini with Kozena.

In 2008 started with Clorinda La Cenerentola at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, shortly followed by a return to the Royal Opera house as Frasquita. Elena sang Iris in Semele at St John Smith Square and Adina in The Elixir of Love for Victorian Opera (Australia) as well as concerts in Quebec City, Melbourne and in Scotland. 2009 performances included  Blonde The Abduction from the Seraglio for Opera North, Adina for Scottish Opera, concerts in Sydney and Hobart and her debut in the London Promenade concerts season in Patience with Sir Charles Mackerras at the Royal Albert Hall.  She also completed a two month tour in Raymond Gubbay’s Strauss Galas  throughout the UK and in Ireland.

2010 saw Elena perform Amor in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice at St John Smith’s Square, return to the English National Opera and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, perform both Euridice and Genio in Haydn’s ‘L’anima del Filosofo’ ossia ‘Orfeo’ for Pinchgut Opera (Sydney) and she made her debut in the title role of Lucia di Lammermoor for Opera de Quebec, Canada; as well as concerts in Poland, Melbourne and for the Accademia di S.Cecilia in Rome with Antonio Pappano. Engagements in 2011 include Lisa and the title role in La Sonnambula at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Jemmy Guillaume Tell for the BBC Proms, and gala concerts in the UK, Poland and Australia. She also covered Diana Damrau as Countess Adele Le Comte Ory for The Metropolitan Opera, New York.

In 2012, she performed in concert with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra around Scotland in their New Year’s ‘Old Vienna’ Concerts and then in Beethoven’s Mass in C with Louis Langree.  This followed a tour to Australia to release the CD’ The Shepherd  and the Mermaid’ with TrioKROMA and concerts with ‘Opera in the Market’. Other performances in 2012 include Clorinda La Cenerentola for the Glyndebourne Festival and Pamina in The Magic Flute for the English National Opera to glowing reviews; as well as in ‘Carmina Burana’with the Oxford Philomusica, and  Orchestral Songs by Delius  at the English Music Festival.

2013 performances included a return to the British Music Festival to sing Sullivan’s Golden Legend and her return to the Metropolitan Opera to cover both Gilda in Rigoletto and Countess Adele in Comte Ory, as well as singing First Niece in Peter Grimes for the  Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. 

Recent performances include Gilda in Opera Queensland’s new production of Rigoletto for which she received exceptional reviews, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor for Winslow Hall, September 2014, again to enthusiastic acclaim. Elena has performed in a series of concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as recitals and concerts in London, including a ‘Winter Prom’ at St John Smith Square in December 2014 where she performed Mozart’s rarely performed masterpiece, the concert aria “Ch’io mi scordi di te” Op 505 with concert pianist Jayson Gillham and orchestra. Other performances included performing in a Gala Tribute concert for Maria Callas in the Herodion Atticus at the foot of the Acropolis, Athens with the Greek National Opera. Up coming engagements include another Maria Callas Gala this time at the Al Bustian festival in Lebanon as well as a two bel Canto style operas, to be announced.

 

A list of Awards, Scholarships, Eisteddfodau and Competition Prizes can be found here