Elizabeth Connell (22 October 1946–18 February 2012) was an opera singer born in South Africa. During her career she sang mainly in the United Kingdom and Australia. Connell was noted for her performances of the heroines in the great operas by Strauss, Verdi and Wagner.
Elizabeth Connell was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on 22 October, 1946. She was the daughter of Raymond Connell and Elizabeth Scott. She studied opera at the London Opera Center. Connell made her debut performance at Wexford in 1972 as a mezzo-soprano. That same year she won the Maggie Teyte prize. Following her debut she sang at the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973. She was with the English National Opera for five years. She then became a freelance artist.[a] In 1981 she cancelled all her performances. She began singing again in 1983 but as a soprano.
Elizabeth Connell appeared at the opera houses of London, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, New York (at the Metropolitan Opera), San Francisco, Milan (at La Scala), Naples and Geneva. She sang in a wide variety of operatic roles. She also performed at major opera festivals in her career. Connell made a number of recordings of her performances. In 2012, she was due to sing at the Toulon Opera but could not appear due to illness. Her last performance was on 27 November 2011 in Hastings, England. Elizabeth Connell died of cancer in London on 18 February 2012. She was 65 years old.
Elizabeth Connell left $20,000 for a prize in her name. It will be a competition for dramatic sopranos of all nationalities. The contest will take place in Sydney on September 13, 2014. The winner will also receive an audition at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, as part of the prize.
- The Grove Book of Opera Singers, ed. Laura Williams Macy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008), p. 93
- The International Who's Who 2004 (London: Europa Publications, 2003), p. 348
- Harris M. Lentz, Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2012 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2013), p. 66
- Leslie Mitchell, Freelancing for Television and Radio (London; New York: Routledge, 2005), p. 1
- Norman Lebrecht, Arts Journal (18 February 2012)
- Clive Paget, Elizabeth Connell bequeaths $20,000 prize for dramatic sopranos, Limelight, November 6, 2013
- BBC News: Opera star Elizabeth Connell dies at 65
- Joseph Stevenson, Artist Biography [Elizabeth Connell]
- Elizabeth Connell bio