"Elisabeth Harris is
a Young mezzo soprano with a bIG future.
she sings with conviction and verve, engaging HER AUDIENCE with
INtensity of expression AND a striking stage presence."
Patrick Shepherd: The Christchurch Star
Considered one of New Zealand’s most promising young mezzo sopranos, Elisabeth is an engaging and exciting performer with a contagious passion for her art. Born in Christchurch, Elisabeth completed her Masters of Music at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, in Wellington. Before embarking upon further overseas training, Elisabeth successfully established herself on the professional scene throughout the country as a 2017 Freemasons New Zealand Opera Artist with the New Zealand Opera Company, and as a sought after soloist with the major orchestras and leading choral societies. In September 2017, Elisabeth moved to New York to study toward a Masters of Music at the Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Ms Shirley Close.
Operatic roles include: Tisbe: La Cenerentola (Manhattan School of Music Opera Theater); Cherubino: Le Nozze di Figaro (Eternity Opera); Madame Larina: Eugene Onegin (Days Bay); Medora: Il corsaro (New Zealand School of Music); Orlofsky: Die Fledermaus (Opera Factory); Rusalka: Rusalka (Canterbury Opera Youth adaptation); and Witch I: Dido and Aeneas (Canterbury Opera Youth). She is also an experienced chorus member with New Zealand Opera, recently touring the country in their production of Sweeney Todd; an accomplished actor, notably performing the roles of Ophelia and Emilia; composer (1st place in the New Zealand Sheilah Winn Shakespeare Music Composition Competition); and has considerable experience as a conductor, musical director and private singing teacher.
On the concert platform, Elisabeth has been the soloist for works which include:Handel’s Messiah; Haydn’s Paukenmesse; Bach’s B Minor Mass; Mendelssohn’s Elijah; Donizetti’s Messa Di Requiem; Beethoven Symphony No. 9, Opus 125; the Mozart Requiem; and Vaughan William’s Mass in G.
Likened to the ‘great ones’ such as Kathleen Ferrier, "Elisabeth’s tremendously rich voice, within which she moves with consummate ease throughout her substantial vocal range," has been widely recognised on the competition circuit. In July 2016, Elisabeth was awarded First Place in the Dame Malvina Major Aria competition in Christchurch, and in 2014 Elisabeth received the ‘Runner Up’ Award for the Dame Malvina Major Aria in Wellington. Additionally, Elisabeth was a 2016 finalist for the New Zealand Aria Competition in Rotorua.
During 2017, in addition to singing in the chorus of New Zealand Opera’s production of Carmen, Elisabeth was engaged in further solo oratorio work with the Palmerston North Choral Society, the Kapiti Chorale, and the Auckland Choral Society, and performed the role of Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro for the Eternity Opera Company in Wellington.
Elisabeth is a recipient of a Dame Malvina Major Canterbury Arts Excellence Award and she wishes to gratefully acknowledge the significant support of the Foundation for its role nurturing her vocal career.