Beloved by critics and audiences alike, American soprano Emily Birsan has shared her engaging skills with many of the world's finest opera houses and orchestras, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Welsh National Opera, Edinburgh Festival, Boston Lyric Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Rochester Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Hailed for her versatility and “radiant delicacy” of tone, she takes on exceptionally broad repertoire, and has emerged as a specialist in works by Mozart and Italian repertoire.
During the 2019-2020 season, Ms. Birsan will make appearances with the Aspen Ideas Festival, Peninsula Music Festival, Mozart’s Requiem with the Bach Society of St. Louis, Beethoven’s Mass in C with the Phoenix Symphony, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, and Handel’s Messiah with the Boise Philharmonic and Tucson Symphony. In the winter of 2020, Ms. Birsan will return as the soprano soloist in Messiah with the Tuscon Symphony.
During the 2018-2019 season, Ms. Birsan went on for an ailing colleague at the Lyric Opera of Chicago as Violetta in La Traviata for which SplashMags.com acclaimed “This opera is about Violetta, and the Lyric has a superb one here." Additionally, Ms. Birsan performed Violetta with Nashville Opera, Handel’s Messiah with the Illinois Philharmonic, Jacksonville Symphony, and Louisiana Symphony, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Jacksonville Symphony, the title role in Rusalka with Madison Opera, Mahler’s 8th Symphony with Madison Symphony, and Sandman/Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel with the Edinburgh International Festival.
During the 2017-2018 season, Ms. Birsan joined Sir Andrew Davis and the Liverpool Philharmonic, sang Violetta in La Traviata with Indianapolis Opera, Handel’s Messiah with the Jacksonville Symphony, a tour singing the role of Maria Callas with Pop-Up Magazine on the West Coast, Mahler’s 4th Symphony with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and her debut with Welsh National Opera as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. During the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Birsan made role debuts as Juliette in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette with Madison Opera, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Boston Lyric Opera, and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Florentine Opera. On the concert stage, she made her debut with Melbourne Symphony singing Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, a concert with the Chicago Philharmonic, and was featured with the BBC Symphony in London singing Bliss’ Beatitudes.
In past seasons, Ms. Birsan returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago as the Italian Singer in Capriccio, sang Leila in The Pearl Fishers with Florida Grand Opera, and Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress with the Edinburgh International Festival. Her critically acclaimed performances on the concert stage include Elgar with the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway, Verdi and Puccini with the Knoxville Symphony and her Carnegie Hall debut with Mozart Mass in C minor. With the Chandos Record Label, Ms. Birsan has recorded Edward Elgar's oratorio, The Saga of St. Olaf, with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Andrew Davis.
A veteran of vocal competitions, Ms. Birsan was awarded first prize from the Musicians Club of Women Competition and was the 2014 Richard F. Gold Career Grant through the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Ms. Birsan earned her BM from Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton, WI and her MM degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Music in 2010, A student of Julia Faulkner, Ms. Birsan was also awarded the Paul Collins Fellowship during her residency at the university. Ms. Birsan was Winner of the 2010 Rose M. Grundman Scholarship from the Civic and Arts Union League Competition, First Place in the 2007 Senior Women’s Division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, and multiple award wins from 2008-2011 at the Upper Midwest Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.