"what a joy to hear this fresh and polished soprano"


Praised by The Globe and Mail as “powerful and engaging”, and recent recipient of the 2019 Sullivan Foundation award, Canadian soprano Elizabeth Polese is quickly establishing herself as a versatile young musician in opera, oratorio and concert repertoire. This season, she is enjoying her second year with l'Atelier Lyrique young artist ensemble at Opéra de Montréal.


Highlights for this season with Opéra de Montréal include covers as Marzelline in Fidelio (Orchestre Métropolitain), Agnès in Written on Skin, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and she will sing the role of Papagena as she bids adieu to her time as a young artist with OdM. Engagements with l'Atelier Lyrique include concerts with Nicolas Ellis and l'Orchestre de l'Agora (Cabaret Bel Canto), Sinfonia de Lanaudière, and Pro Musica series Mélodînes. Ms. Polese's season is also well balanced with oratorio engagements - she joins Toronto Choral Society and Brott Music Festival for Messiah, and will debut Bach Magnificat, Vivaldi Gloria (Pax Christi Chorale) and Mozart's Mass in C Minor (Choral Connection). Her most anticipated engagement of the season will be returning to Opera 5 for her debut as The Governess in Britten's The Turn of the Screw. She is also very excited to return to Tanglewood Music Centre as a fellow in their 2020 season. 

Selected opera highlights include Susanna / Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro (Opera York, Highlands Opera, Brott Opera), Despina in Così fan tutte (Highlands), Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Stratford, Indian River Festival), Erste Dame / Papagena in Die Zauberflöte (Brott, OY), Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto (Opéra de Montréal), Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw (Orchestre de l'Agora), Amore / Valletto in L’Incoronazione di Poppea (COSI), and the Canadian Premieres of Ricky Ian Gordon's Twenty-Seven as Alice B. Toklas, Rorem’s Our Town as Emily Webb (NUOVA), and Dame Ethel Smythe’s Fête Galante as Columbine (Opera5), the latter for which the ensemble cast was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance in 2018. Equally as comfortable in oratorio repertoire, she has sung with the Kingston Symphony, Brott Music Festival, Choeur Métropolitain, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Stratford Summer Music Festival, Chorus Niagara, Talisker Players, Toronto Mozart Players, VOCA Chorus of Toronto, and TorQ Ensemble, in repertoire spanning Carmina Burana, Fauré Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Bach’s Kaffee Kantate, Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate, Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb, Dvorak's Mass in D Major, and Handel’s Messiah, in which she has been commended for “her voice [that] is as angelic as her music” (Tourism St. Catherines). Ms. Polese is also a passionate art song recitalist, and has given recitals in Maison Symphonique, Tanna Schulich Hall, Mazzoleni Hall of the Royal Conservatory of Music, the University of Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company’s Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre, Roy Thomson Hall, Rolston Recital Hall, the Canadian Music Centre, and in Havana, Cuba with the Glenn Gould Foundation.


Her varied collection of repertoire has brought her success in several competitions, most notably winning Second Prize and Best Performance of a Canadian Work at the Concours de Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Manuvie in 2017, and placing as a semi-finalist at the Concours Voix Nouvelles in Massy, France in 2018. She has been awarded prizes, top placements, and grants in several other competitions, including Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, Concorso Internazionale di Cantanti Lirici (Alcamo, Italy), Ottawa Choral Society, the Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation, and won the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, The Toronto Mozart Competition, and the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra Sénécal-Mozart Prize with her interpretation of Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate.


Ms. Polese is a proud alumna of many esteemed training institutions internationally, including the Tanglewood Music Centre, Rebanks Family Fellowship of the Royal Conservatory of Music, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, the Universität der Künste Berlin, Highlands Opera Studio, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Brott Opera Festival, Opera NUOVA, Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, Victoria Conservatory of Music, and Centre d’Arts Orford. She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Toronto, where she studied under the tutelage of celebrated Canadian soprano, Mary Morrison (OC).

Born and raised in Toronto, Elizabeth is currently based in Montréal.

To get in touch with Elizabeth, or to request an EPK, bio, headshot, resume, or repertoire list, click here.


March 2020, 680 words


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