Elsebeth Dreisig, lyric soprano
Elsebeth Dreisig completed her education at the Royal Danish Conservatoire in 1994 under Professor Kirsten Buhl Møller. Subsequently she has studied with Ileana Cotrubas, Ingrid Bjoner, Mikael Eliasen and Maria Cleva.
During her studies Elsebeth was part of small group of singers that took the initiative to present a series of Mozart operas , leading to the founding of The Young Opera Company (Det unge Operacompagnie). In these productions, Elsebeth sang Despina in Cosi fan tutte, Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Pamina in The Magic Flute and Zerlina in Don Giovanni.
With The Danish National Opera (Den Jyske Opera) Elsebeth has been acclaimed in many rôles:
Ann Truelove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Pamina in The Magic Flute and Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Katarina in the world premiére of Lars Klit’s Anatomical Opera, Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen, Aase in Heise’s King and Marshal (Drot og Marsk), Eliza in My Fair Lady, First Niece in Britten’s Peter Grimes, Leonora in Carl Nielsen’s Maskarade, Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, Antonia in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, Nannetta in Verdi’s Falstaff, Violetta in scenes from La Traviata as part of an Opera Gala, a rôle she reprised in its entirety in the company’s full production. Additionally, she has sung Mimi in La bohème, Nedda in Leoncavallo’s I pagliacci, Ännchen in Weber’s Der Freischütz, Gabi White in Niels Marthinsen’s full-length opera The Confessional (Skriftestolen), which won the Reumert Prize for Best Opera in 2006. To complete the roster, she also sang The Countess in The Marriage of Figaro and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. See below for further details…
In october 1998 Elsebeth jumped in at one day’s notice to sing Pamina in The Magic Flute with great success.
Elsebeth has a long association with Musikteatret Undergrunden, with whom, among others, she has sung Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Mrs. Thomsen in John Frandsen’s opera Amalie. She has also toured several puppet-operas with the company.
In august 1997 Elsebeth sang The Governess in Benjamin Britten’s opera The Turn of the Screw with Aarhus Sommeropera with whom she also sang Servilia in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito in 1998.
Elsebeth has participated in a number of new works, including world premières such as Erik Højsgård’s Don Juan Returns from the Wars, Wayne Siegel’s Signs of Life and Svend Rastrup Andersen’s street-opera The Seasons that was produced, among other locations, in the Round Tower in Copenhagen and at the 1998 Roskilde Festival. Elsebeth sang the rôle of Kowalski, the Polish girl, in Andy Pape and Erick Clausen’s opera The Great Houdini.
Elsebeth is also a much-in-demand concert and oratorio soloist and has sung in several concerts with the Radio Light Orchestra and all the major regional orchestras.
Elsebeth participated in the CD recording of C. E. F. Weyse’s The Sleeping Draught in the rôle of Rose with the Radio Light Orchestra under the baton of Giordano Bellincampi. In 2005 she recorded a Christmas CD And It Came to Pass (Men det skete i de dage) with traditional Christmas anthems and carols as well as a couple of unknown songs. This was with the organist, Henrik Metz. See more about this via the CD-link on the homepage. The link will also take you to details of her recording La Speranza, a live recording from Christians Kirke from may 2013.
In march 1999 Elsebeth received the annual grant from the Danish Soloists Union 1921.
In august 2003 Elsebeth sang Mimì as the rehearsal stand-in in all rehearsals up to the Dress Rehearsal for Angela Gheorghiu when she and Roberto Alagna were to sing La bohème for Den Jyske Opera.
Elsebeth’s official début at the Royal Theatre, Copenhagen took place in august 2004 in La bohème, in the rôle of Musetta, a rôle in which she had a great personal success. In the 2007/2008 season she again guested with the company in three rôles: Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann, Musetta in La bohème and Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow.
In the 2008/2009 season Elsebeth was delighted to rejoin the company at Den Jyske Opera where she sang the First Lady in The Magic Flute. In the same season she took the rôle of Adina in Donizetti’s ravishing comedy, The Elixir of Love.
In 2007 Elsebeth sang Marzelline in Den Jyske Opera’s summer production of Beethoven’s Fidelio. Following this she toured the country with DogmeOpera (www.dogmeopera.dk), an opera-compilation outfit, with tenor Jan Lund and pianist Thomas Rischel.
In march of 2009 Elsebeth realised her greatest dream when she made her début in the rôle of Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata. The opportunity came from Den Jyske Opera, and her performance was much praised by the critics. In the spring of 2010, Elsebeth toured the country, again with Den Jyske Opera, as the princess Ilia in Mozart’s gorgeous Idomeneo.
In august 2010 Elsebeth could be found as the dancer and singer Julietta in Korngold’s opera Die Tote Stadt with Den Jyske Opera. The production was hugely well-received, not least because of director-designer Mikael Melbye’s beautiful work. The production won the Reumert Prize for Best Opera.
On december 3rd 2010 Elsebeth made her rôle-début as Cio-cio-san (Butterfly) in Puccini’s moving eponymous opera. It was Malmö Opera who set her this challenge, which Elsebeth rose to magnificently both in the opinion of the critics and the public. This success led to her being invited back to reprise the rôle in the autumn of 2011.
In the spring of 2012 Elsebeth was again critically acclaimed, this time in the rôle of Elvira in Don Giovanni for Den Jyske Opera.
In may 2012 Elsebeth participated in Lars Klit’s controversial piece Angelo. For the first time Elsebeth had to embody a part much older than her own age – the transformation was not easy but it worked, and the the press were united in their praise for her moving performance as the mother of the murdered Angelo.
The summer of 2012 was spent in Aarhus where she made her rôle-début as Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte in a new and very modern translation by Lars Henriksen. It opened in the beautiful Elsinore Theatre in The Old Town in Aarhus and was a successful co-production with Den Fynske Opera, who presented it in september 2012.
Also during that summer Elsebeth was rehearsing The Marriage of Figaro in Aarhus, in which she would sing The Countess. Den Jyske Opera revived this beautful production in Lars Andersen’s costumes and took it on tour from Odense around the whole country, finishing with a performace on the Old Stage of The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.
Alongside these productions, Elsebeth also sang in New Year’s Concerts with the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra in 2008, with the Sjælland Symphony Orchestra in 2009 and with the South Jutland Symphony Orchestra in 2010 and 2013, taking on, in these last two the job of compère. In 2014 she sang the New Year’s Concert with the Odense Symphony Orchestra and in 2015 and 2017 sang and compèred New Year’s Concerts with Storstrøms Symphony Orchestra, the last of which was conducted by Magnus Fryklund.
Throughout the year Elsebeth tours the country with the opera-compilation company DogmeOpera alongside tenor Jan Lund and pianist Thomas Rischel in Two Men and a Diva (To mand frem for en Diva) – a jewel of a production that has been very well-received. Read more about DogmeOpera at www.dogmeopera.dk
You can also find details of Elsebeth and Jan’s new collaboration Duets Hit the Spot (Duetten på Pletten) here: www.duettenpåpletten.dk. This offers many different forms and styles of entertainment.
Elsebeth has received many grants and bursaries during her career, from bodies including the Danish Soloists’ Union 1921 and the Ellen Gilberg and Eyvind Islandys Travel Bursary.
In may 2013 Elsebeth recorded a live Cd in Christians Kirke on Christianshavn. The line-up consisted of Elsebeth, Henrik Metz at the piano and Tonny Landy as compère and tenor. It was a great success, with a chock-full church, and a beautifully sung CD was the result. The CD contains many of the most popular italian bel canto arias for soprano and is called La Speranza (Hope) – the hope is that is takes you on a journey through the wide variety of female stories in opera. It can be purchased through Elsebeth’s webpage: www.elsebethdreisig.dk
The summer of 2013 took Elsebeth to Hedeland Opera, where she had to jump in for an ailing soprano with a couple of hours’ rehearsal, in the rôle of Madama Butterfly. Elsebeth’s performance contributed to the great success of the production, in which all the national press of Denmark and Sweden highlighted her “perfect” Butterfly.
After this success Elsebeth was headhunted by GuidOpera (www.guidopera.com), a chamber opera company under the leadership of Guido Paevatalu, to sing Butterfly again in a performance under the ægis of the Royal Theatre, which has toured the country since october 2013. Elsebeth was again well-reviewed for both the dramatic and vocal aspects of her interpretation
In 2014 Elsebeth went to Fyn with the Fynske Opera (www.denfynskeopera.dk) to take the lead rôle in Niels Marthinsen and Eva Littauer’s great opera Doctor Jekyll’s Lawyer. It opened with great success on 14th march 2014.
Since 2013 Elsebeth has sat on the judges’ panel of the Young Singers singing competition that takes place in Ikast every Easter. The patricipants have a unique opportunity to test themselves under competitive conditions that are nevertheless welcoming and supportive, allowing no one to be voted out, even though it is a competition. www.ungesangere.dk
Since the summer of 2014 Elsebeth has participated in the music festival – Festival alta Val Nervia – in collaboration with Pustrejser. http://pustrejser.dk/rejser-til-italien/klassisk-musikfestival/ This year (2017) Elsebeth, along with tenor Jan Lund and director Mikael Melbye, will lead a masterclass for young singers that has already aroused considerable interest.
In march of 2015 Elsebeth took part in the Malko Competition, a Copenhagen competition for conductors, in which she sang Mimi’s aria from La bohème for the second round, adapting her performance to each individual conductor’s requirements. It takes a soprano with very special skills to undertake such a challenge.
In the autumn of 2015 she sang the rôle of Nella in Puccini’s only comic opera, Gianni Schicchi. Undergrunden in Værløse were the first to offer her this rôle and when the Royal Theater came to mount Gianni Schicchi they offered the same rôle to Elsebeth, granting her an enjoyable opportunity to sing the rôle for two different companies in two completely different productions. Luckily both were sung in the original italian. Further performances were scheduled in 2016.
After this Elsebeth took on her 4th Madama Butterfly production, this time with Den Jyske Opera, leading to her gaining the best reviews ever accorded in Denmark to a singer in this rôle.
In 2015 Elsebeth took on a new challenge as an Opera Guide in Verona. In that capacity she has travelled with, among others, Best Travel and has proved herself a popular guide. Her range has now widened to include Budapest where Elsebeth will guide a group in march 2017. In the summer of 2017 she will be taking two groups to Verona.
Keep up to date via Elsebeth’s homepage: www.elsebethdreisig.dk