Of Joyce El-Khoury’s recent role debut as Imogene (Il pirata) with the Opéra National de Bordeaux, Opéra magazine wrote:
“…the infinite length of the breath, the science of chiaroscuro, the projection of the treble, the quality of the pianissimi, the variety of accents, in turn authoritarian and vulnerable, including in extraordinarily lively recitatives, as we had not heard them since Maria Callas.”
El-Khoury revealed star power and superb vocal presence. Floating and spinning …with true bel canto sensibility – and never settling for merely pretty singing…completely riveting and even cathartic” -BachTrack
Joyce has an acclaimed reputation for bringing newly discovered/rarely performed works to life, most recently with the world premieres of Donizetti’s L’Ange de Nisida (Royal Opera House (ROH)) and Franz Liszt’s Sardanapalo (Weimar Staatskapelle) –both captured and released internationally.
Her 2022/2023 season opens with a highly anticipated role debut as Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Riccardo Muti. Joyce then makes her debut with the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester at the Grafenegg Festival performing Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder. She appears in concert with tenor Jonathan Tetelman for Festkonsert 2022 with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with The Birgit Nilsson Museum in Båstad, Sweden. Further in the season, Joyce returns to the Canadian Opera Company for Micaëla in Carmen as well as debuting the title role of Anna Bolena at ABOA Bilbao Opera in Spain. In the spring of 2023, Joyce reprises Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera with Riccardo Muti at the Tokyo Spring Festival as well as reprising Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at Opéra de Montréal.
The 2021/2022 began with Joyce’s highly anticipated role debut as Madama Butterfly with Welsh National Opera. She reprised the role of Anna in Puccini’s Le Villi with the Orchestra National du Capitole, under the direction of Speranza Scappucci and also debuted at The Dallas Opera as Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles. Her performances as Leïla garnered her the 2022 “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year” from The Dallas Opera. During her 2021/2022 season Joyce also appeared on the concert stage with Opéra de Bordeaux, Teatro Comunale Mario del Monaco and L’Orchestra Sinfonia Nazionale della Rai. She was seen in recital with the Amici Chamber Ensemble in Toronto and at the Al Bustan Festival in her home country of Lebanon.
The 2020/21 season, that saw few productions through the Covid-19 pandemic, marked her Italian debut at the Teatro Massimo Palermo for Verdi’s Requiem under the baton of Riccardo Muti. She also debuted the role of Tosca at Opéra de Lille to critical acclaim.
Her 2019/20 season opened at the Canadian Opera Company in Puccini’s Turandot (Liù). She was seen in concert with The Prague Philharmonia, under the direction of Emmanuel Villaume, for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. She then debuted the role of Anna in Puccini’s rarely heard Le Villi with Opéra de Limoges. Before the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown, Joyce was scheduled to perform Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Al Bustan Festival in her native country of Lebanon. She was also scheduled to close her 2020 season in a world premiere of Tobias Picker’s anticipated opera Awakenings at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis (a role written for her after she impressed Picker in the title role of Emmeline in 2015 with the same company).
Her 2018/19 season brought her back home to the Canadian Opera Company (Tatyana, Eugene Onegin), to Opera Australia (Mimì, La bohème) for her company debut, and back to the Welsh National Opera for her continued exploration of Donizetti’s bel canto queens (Elisabetta, Roberto Devereux). Additional recent highlights include performing Violetta (La traviata) at both Glyndebourne and the ROH, returning to ROH as Musetta in Richard Jones’ La bohème, a production she revisited in her Teatro Real debut in December. In concert, she opened the NDR Symphony’s season in a gala concert performance and debuted with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.
Ms. El-Khoury’s discography includes three rare Donizetti operas on the Opera Rara label (Les Martyrs, Belisario and L’Ange de Nisida) conducted by Sir Mark Elder – all to critical acclaim, L’Ange recently took home the 2019 Oper! Award for Best Opera Recording. She also has a Juno-nominated solo disc, ‘Écho’ with The Hallé conducted by Carlo Rizzi. Additionally, Audite released the newly-discovered unfinished Liszt opera Sardanapalo in 2018.
“El-Khoury’s skill in tapering dynamics and placing her heart in the audience’s palms made the character”
Recent engagements include debuting with the London Philhamonic Orchestra in Rossini’s Stabat Mater, and with Opéra National de Bordeaux as Leila in Les Pêcheurs de Perles. She also made role and house debuts with Opera Philadelphia as Liù in Turandot, and as Salome in Massenet’s Herodiade with Washington Concert Opera. Violetta in La traviata with the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, Musetta in La bohème with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and with San Diego Opera in Jake Heggie’s new opera Great Scott as Tatyana Bakst.
Ms. El–Khoury garnered raves when she starred in the title role of Maria Stuarda at Seattle Opera, replacing an ailing colleague in addition to giving her own scheduled performances, in some instances singing back to back performances. On the concert stage, Ms. El-Khoury debuted with the Orchestre de Paris in Rossini’s Stabat Mater, under the baton of Jesús López-Cobos, and performed in concerts in Austria with Elīna Garanča, and in Spain with Juan Diego Flórez.
Born in Lebanon and brought up in Canada, Ms. El-Khoury earned her Bachelor of Music at the University of Ottawa. She received her Artist Diploma from the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, and is a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. She is a First Prize winner in many competitions including: the Loren L. Zachary Competition, the Opera Index Competition, the George London Foundation, and the Mario Lanza Vocal Competition.