News Update 10/13/19: Ms. Leslie is announced as one of the winners of the San Francisco District in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, her third time taking top honors. She will again advance to the Western Region Finals in Los Angeles on January 12, 2020.
Three-time winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the San Francisco District (2019, 18, 16), soprano Ellen Leslie is already an internationally sought-after musician.
This 2019-20 season, in her house debut with Opera San Jose as Ida in Die Fledermaus, Ms. Leslie was singled out by Opera Today for “[making] the most of her brief moments as she showed off her bright, pure soprano.” This summer, she toured Finland, Latvia, Estonia, and Sweden as the soprano solo in Brahms' Requiem and performed a recital of arias with Symphonia Caritas in San Francisco’s War Memorial Veterans Building. In her reprise as Josephine (HMS Pinafore) with San Francisco’s Lamplighters Music Theatre this August, she was lauded as “sparkling…by turns lovelorn, impish and imperious.” This fall, she re-joins the San Francisco Opera Guild’s outreach as Mabel (Pirates of Penzance) and the San Francisco Symphony as an AGMA chorus member. She returns to the Western Region Finals in the Met National Council Auditions in January 2020. In Spring 2020, she will debut with Merced Symphony as the soprano solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No.9.
Her 2018-19 season included a double role debut as Adina in The Elixir of Love, both with Pocket Opera and with San Francisco Opera Guild's outreach; premiering the role of Jane Bennet in Kirke Mechem's Pride & Prejudice; the soprano solo in Faure's Requiem in San Francisco; a world premiere in recital with cellist Emil Miland; a presented solo recital of all-French art songs and arias; and a second Encouragement Award at the Western Region Finals of the Met National Council Auditions in Los Angeles. In Summer 2018, as a resident Young Artist with Opera Saratoga, Ms. Leslie sang roles in The Consul, The Merry Widow, the American premiere of Rocking Horse Winner and the world premiere of Vinkensport, or the Finch Opera.
Ms. Leslie made her German debut in 2017 as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) in Schloss Merode, and as Rosane (Vivaldi La verità in cimento) in Leipzig. Recent roles in the Bay Area include Micaëla (Carmen) and Lady Billows (Albert Herring) at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Damigella and Amore (L'Incoronazione di Poppea) with the SFCM Baroque Ensemble, and Iris (Semele) with Pocket Opera. A critically acclaimed interpreter of the soprano roles in the Gilbert & Sullivan canon, she has most recently sung Josephine (HMS Pinafore) and the title role in Patience with San Francisco's Lamplighters Music Theatre. Ms. Leslie also sang in the 2015 and 2016 workshops for Santa Fe Opera's The (r)Evolution of Steve Jobs.
Ms. Leslie grew up on an Irwin 37 sailboat in the San Francisco Bay and spent her childhood circumnavigating with her family. She earned concurrent undergraduate degrees from the University of Denver--a BM in Voice Performance and a BA in French, both summa cum laude. In recognition of her academic and musical accomplishments, she was also inducted into both Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Kappa Lambda. She earned her MM at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In 2016, Ms. Leslie completed her postgraduate studies on full scholarship at the Hochschule für Musik "Feliz Mendelssohn Bartholdy" in Leipzig, in conjunction with SFCM. She has also lived in Strasbourg, France, where she researched a thesis on the sociopolitical and artistic climate surrounding Carmen.
Ms. Leslie is based in San Francisco, where she lives with her husband, composer/conductor Eric Choate, and studies with Sheri Greenawald.
Last updated 14 October 2019