Elizabeth Batton Sorenson
Primary school choir & Music fundamentals
BA, Vocal Performance, Millikin University
Vocal Studies, The Manhattan School of Music
Since winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2000, American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Batton has performed in concert, on recording, and on the operatic stage to international acclaim. She has sung the title role of Carmen in concert and on stage Opera News described her performance as “seductive” and “…a vocal powerhouse of dark, burnished bronze, seamless throughout its range, a steady flow of gorgeous sound.”
Her voice is defined by the New York Times as a “striking” and “splendidly-full mezzo”, “full of alluring and comforting warmth”, “who sings with full rich sound and sensibility”, and by Financial Times as “heart-melting”, an “American mezzo with a gorgeous voice and a wonderfully natural stage personality”. Ms. Batton’s recent appearances include the Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos with Kentucky Opera, title role of Carmen, Mary in Wagner’s Der Fliegende der Holländer and the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors for Indianapolis Opera, Marinka in Smetana’s The Kiss for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Sara in Roberto Devereux with Opera de Montreal, a role she first sang with the Dallas Opera in 2009. Other recent engagements have included Samira (created for Marilyn Horne) in The Ghost of Versailles for Opera Theater of St. Louis, Lucretia in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for Toledo Opera, and Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto with the Arizona Opera, Charlotte in Werther, as Katisha in the Mikado and as Eunice in A Streetcar Named Desire with the Kentucky Opera.
Time Out New York says “Elizabeth Batton is an attractive, young mezzo with a commanding voice who’s clearly headed for stardom”. The Wall Street Journal described her performance of Evadne in OTSL’s Troilus and Cressida “a standout” and by the Washington Post as “an excellent mezzo-soprano with contralto overtones”. Ms. Batton has traveled with world, from Macau to Beijing, and France and Germany to the Canary Islands as a featured soloist and lead. 2016-17 engagements included Katisha in The Mikado with Kentucky Opera, and her return to Dallas Opera for Eugene Onegin. Future engagements include Maddalena in Rigoletto, Third Lady in The Magic Flute and Shifrah Puah in Enemies , a Love Story in her hometown of Louisville with the Kentucky Opera. On CD, Ms. Batton sang the role of Zuzka from Eva by Josef Foester released by the Marco-Polo Label with the Wexford Festival. On the Telarc Label, Ms. Batton can be heard as Zweite Dienerin in Die Agyptische Helena with Deborah Voigt and the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein.
Ms. Batton made her concert debut at Lincoln Center in 1998 with the American Symphony Orchestra as Ruth in the North American revival of The Eternal Road by Kurt Weill. She sang Iras in Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and has appeared as the mezzo soloist in Bruckner’s Mass in F Minor with the American Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with the Pacific Symphony, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle for the Wexford Festival (Ireland), and Mozart’s Requiem with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall. Other past engagements include Nicklausse/Muse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann at Los Angeles Opera, Suzuki from Madama Butterfly at Washington National Opera, conducted by Placido Domingo (National Mall Live Telecast - described by Opera News as a “dark, potently expressive voice” and by the Washington Post as “the finest singer on stage”), and with New York City Opera, Olga in Eugene Onegin at the Boston Lyric Opera, and Cleveland Opera, and Charlotte in Werther and Carmen in Carmen at Indianapolis Opera. In addition to the American Premiere of Il Piccolo Marat, Ms. Batton was in the American premiere of Jane Erye by Berkeley, the American premiere of Britten’s Gloriana as Lady Essex, and the American premiere of Walton’s Troilus and Cressida as Evadne. Described by Opera Today as a “vibrant mezzo with a volatile personality” and a “plummy mezzo, with awesomely rich chest tones”, this impressive mezzo has also been featured on the cover of Opera News Magazine with Dolora Zajick, and additionally in their “Features” section several times.
She resides in Louisville, KY with her husband, Metropolitan Opera tenor and 2019 Grammy nominee, Garrett Sorenson, and their children. As a Grand Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2000, Elizabeth was the first recipient of the Alton E. Peters Award. She also won the Licia Albanese Puccini Competition, and the Loren Zachary Competition.