Born in 1979, Elizabeth Watts was a chorister at Norwich Cathedral and studied archaeology at Sheffield University, graduating with first class honours. In 2002 she won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where she studied with Lillian Watson on the Advanced Opera studies course at the Benjamin Britten International Opera School. In 2004 she was selected for representation by YCAT before graduating from the Royal College in 2005 with distinction. She has received the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Rose Bowl, on top of numerous other prizes and awards, including the RCM Lies Askonas Prize, the Maggie Teyte Prize and the Royal Over-Seas League vocal section prize. Most recently she received international acclaim representing England at the 2007 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, reaching the final and winning the prestigious Rosenblatt Recital Song Prize and automatic selection for BBC Radio 3’s prestigious New Generation Artists Scheme. This follows on from other recent successes including the 2006 Kathleen Ferrier Prize, the 2007 Outstanding Young Artist Award at the MIDEM Classique Awards in Cannes, and a nomination for the 2007 Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist of the Year Award.
As an alumna of the Britten- Pears Young Artist Programme in Aldeburgh, she has appeared at the Purcell Room, Bridgewater Hall, Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Aldeburgh Festival, among many others. Her operatic work has included the rôles of Flora (The Knot Garden) in a Music Theatre Wales / Royal Opera House co-production, the title rôle in a British Youth Opera production of Handel’s Semele and the role of Arthébuze in a semi-staged performance of Charpentier’s Actéon conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm at the Aldeburgh Festival. Rôles at the RCM included Flora (The Turn of the Screw), Poppea (Agrippina), Elmira (Sosarme), Fulvia (Ezio) and Constance (Dialogues des Carmélites). Between 2005 and 2007 she was a Company Artist at English National Opera on their Young Singers’ Programme making her début as Papagena (Die Zauberflöte). Rôles since then have included Music and Hope (Orfeo), both for English National Opera and with the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, various rôles in Purcell’s King Arthur, again for ENO and in Berkeley California in collaboration with the Mark Morris Dance Company, and Barbarina (Marriage of Figaro).
Elizabeth Watts is much in demand as a recitalist and concert singer, giving recitals at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, as well as at festivals and music clubs throughout the United Kingdom.