Cuban-American soprano Elena Villalón recently completed her tenure with the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Described as having “a voice with considerable warmth and mellifluous legato tone, but also weight and breadth” by Washington Classical Review, she is a 2019 Grand Finals winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and most recently took home several prizes at the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition. This season, she joins the ensemble of Oper Frankfurt, debuting as Iole in Hercules in a new production by Barrie Kosky and as Atalanta in Xerxes. She returns to Houston Grand Opera as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and the Dallas Opera as Gretel in Hansel und Gretel.
Passionate about art song and concert repertoire, Villalón has spent summers at the Tanglewood Music Center and at Songfest as a Colburn Fellow. At Tanglewood, performance highlights have included the soprano solo in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, Max in Oliver Knussen’s Where the Wild Things Are, the world premiere of Michael Gandolfi’s In America, concerts of Bach cantatas conducted by John Harbison, and concerts and recitals curated by Dawn Upshaw, Stephanie Blythe, Margo Garrett, and Sanford Sylvan.
Villalón lives in Houston, Texas, where she enjoys (besides singing) sailing, sewing, cooking, causing mischief, and spending time with her dogs, Scooter and Spaghetti.