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Jacksonville Symphony

Elise returns to Jacksonville Symphony for Beethoven's Missa Solemnis conducted by Tito Muñoz.

March 26 and 28, 2015

Jacksonville Symphony, FL
Watch the promotional Video
Published: March 20, 2015


Critical acclaim for Elise as Sister Helen in Dead Man Walking!

"Composer Jake Heggie has made the pivotal role of Sister Helen Prejean a huge 'sing.' It ranges from simple, floated folk tunes, to urgent conversational exchanges, to pointed wisecracks, to punishing emotional outbursts, to stinging dramatic force required at both extremes of the range. Librettist Terence McNally has compounded the challenge by scripting a torturous emotional journey that requires elements of extreme restraint, steady growth to understanding, and utter abandon to a raw transformation and spiritual bonding. In Elise Quagliata, the creators may have found their most powerful Helen yet.

Her luminous voice made every moment count, with a powerful, tireless mezzo displaying a rich, amiable tone of unbelievable stamina. Ms. Quagliata could hurl out climax after climax, one topping the other for searing intensity, then just as easily she could turn on a dime and scale back to a haunting whisper. The palette of vocal color Elise brought to the drama was staggering, from the sunlit joy of the opening scene to the final unaccompanied lines, mere wisps laced with unconditional love after Joe's execution. This was great vocalism with limp, effortless delivery that was always deployed in committed service to the character. Truly memorable." - James Sohre


"...Elise Quagliata contributed an excellent performance as the compassionate nun. Her interpretation was passionate yet sung with exceptional technical finesse: she maintained a rounded vocal quality throughout an impressive dynamic range." - Mark Thomas Ketterson


"As Sister Helen, the New York mezzo-soprano Elise Quagliata is forthright, a can-do gal in a plain skirt suit and sensible shoes. But her heartfelt singing reveals much deeper qualities within – vulnerability, fear, guilt and almost dizzying bouts of doubt." - Michael Morain
Published: August 12, 2014


Des Moines Metro Opera

Elise reprises her protrayal of Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking with Des Moines Metro Opera. Based on the extraordinary book of the same name by Sister Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking is the first opera from the 21st century to be presented at DMMO. From its shocking beginning to its emotionally searing final scene, this opera changes everyone who encounters it. Its stunning score and intense story combine into a work that "must be reckoned something of a masterpiece – a gripping, enormously skillful marriage of words and music to tell a story of love, suffering and spiritual redemption." - San Francisco Chronicle

Listen to an interview with Sister Helen Prejean and Jake Heggie with excerpts from the opera on Iowa Public Radio

Sister Helen says that this opera allows an audience the rare opportunity to get close to the issues surrounding capital punishment. "Music has a way of bringing us to places in our heart we don't even know we have. And it's done masterfully. I couldn't ask for it to be done better than it's being done." - Sister Helen Prejean

Iowa Public Radio

Published: June 28, 2014

Upcoming Schedule

March 13, 2015

Brahms Alto Rhapsody
Idaho State Civic Symphony

November 12, 2015

Master Class
Idaho State University

March 26 & 28, 2015

Missa Solemnis
Jacksonville Symphony

December 5, 2014

Jacksonville Symphony

October 23, 24, 25, 2014

Duruflé Requiem
Pacific Symphony

July 26, 2014

Opera & Ella: Duets, Arias, & Song
Beacon Hill Concerts

June 28, July 6, 8, 11 & 19, 2014

Sister Helen - Dead Man Walking
Des Moines Metro Opera

May 16 & 17, 2014

Mahler Third Symphony
Jacksonville Symphony

April 27, 2014

Sister Helen - Dead Man Walking
DePaul University

February 27, 28
March 1, 2014

Verdi Requiem
Jacksonville Symphony
























Available for Download

AtlantisElise sings in Henry Cowell's Atlantis recorded with the American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein.
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