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 2019/20 season opens at the Canadian Opera Company in Puccini’s Turandot (Liù) and closes 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.