Of Joyce El-Khoury’s recent role debut as Norma at The Acropolis, in Athens Greece, ΚΑΘΗΜΕΡΙΝΗ magazine wrote: “…soprano Joyce El-Khoury, is the best and most convincing Norma I’ve seen in the last two decades. Fine stage presence, a voice with wonderful timbre and nuances, finesse in terms of dynamics, exquisite pianissimo – and remarkable technical mastery.”

“…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.” – Opéra magazine

Born in Lebanon and raised in Canada, Joyce El-Khoury has an acclaimed reputation for bringing newly discovered and rarely performed works to life, most recently with the world premieres of Donizetti’s L’Ange de Nisida at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Franz Liszt’s Sardanapalo with the Weimar Staatskapelle, both recorded and released internationally. Ms. El-Khoury’s discography also includes two other rare Donizetti operas on the Opera Rara label (Les Martyrs and Belisario) conducted by Sir Mark Elder – all to critical acclaim. Her first solo disc, Écho, recorded with The Hallé and conducted by Carlo Rizzi was nominated for a Juno Award from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in recognition of outstanding achievements in the music industry.

Ms. El-Khoury’s upcoming 2024/2025 season includes two exciting role debuts. First, Joyce debuts the title role in Verdi’s Aida at Opéra de Rouen, adding to her vast experience in the Verdian repertoire. She will also debut the title role in Cherubini’s Médée for her parisian operatic debut at the Opéra Comique. Further on the operatic stage Ms. El-Khoury returns to the role of Tosca, alongside Bryn Terfel as Baron Scarpia, for a concert performance at the Shanghai International Arts Festival and will reprise Médée at Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier. Ms. El-Khoury will be seen and heard in concert in Oman, returns to Verdi’s Requiem with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, will be a featured soloist in Giacomo Puccini Grand Gala at the Shanghai International Arts Festival and joins the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra for Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9. Future seasons include international operatic & concert engagements in Vienna and Dallas, among others.

Ms. El-Khoury’s 2023/2024 season began with Liszt’s Sardanapalo at LisztFest in Budapest. Joyce made two Verdian role debuts during the 23/24 season, including Elisabetta in Don Carlo in a new production at Opéra de Monte-Carlo followed by Amelia in Simon Boccanegra at The Finnish National Opera. Further on the opera stage during the 23/24 season, Joyce returned to Canada for performances of La Reine Garçon at Opéra de Montréal, returned to the Birgit Nilsson Days Festival for Amelia in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, and debuted with the New National Theatre Tokyo for performances of Puccini’s Tosca. On the concert stage, she joined the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester in Berlin for their Italian Opera Gala, was the soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with both the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and reunited with Serouj Kradjian for a Music in the Afternoon recital in Toronto, inspired by Joyce’s Lebanese heritage. 

The recipient of the 2022 Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year from the Dallas Opera, Ms. El-Khoury’s has performed over 30 leading roles in major opera houses around the world in an expansive repertoire including Norma, Carmen, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Violetta (La traviata), Amelia (Un ballo in maschera), Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, Elisabetta (Roberto Devereux), Imogene (Il Pirata), Liù (Turandot), Anna (Le Villi), Tatyana (Eugene Onegin), Leïla (Les pêcheurs de perles), Salome (Hérodiade), Tatyana Bakst (Great Scott), among others. Recent career highlights include the title role of Carmen at Oper in Steinbruch as well as title role of Bellini’s Norma at the Athens’ Herodes Atticus Theatre at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. This new production of Norma, honoring the centennial celebration of Maria Callas, was directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker, Tom Volf, who has become the most important collector and expert on the work of Maria Callas with his award-winning documentary Maria by Callas.

Ms. El-Khoury has collaborated with some of the opera world’s most prolific conductors. She joined maestro Riccardo Muti in her debut as Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra & with the Tokyo Spring Festival as well as the Verdi Requiem at the Teatro Massimo Palermo in Italy. She frequently worked with the late Lorin Maazel at the beginning of her professional career in leading roles such as Desdemona (Otello), Mimí (La bohème), Suor Angelica and Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi) at the Castleton Festival as well as Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia) at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing and in Beethoven’s Missa Solemniswith the Munich Philharmonic. She has also enjoyed a close relationship with composer Tobias Picker, first performing the title role of Emmeline at Opera Theatre of St. Louis to critical acclaim and then reuniting with him for his opera Awakenings in the role of Rose for the opera’s east coast premiere in collaboration with Odyssey Opera & Boston Modern Opera Project.

“In the final scene, the way she [El-Khoury] resolved the difficult dramatic transition between the madness of the cavatina & the sanity of the cabaletta was astonishing. She dressed the dreaminess of the cavatina, ‘Al dolce guidami’, with all its lyrical finery, dynamic prowess and vocal filigree to make it the highlight of the evening.”
-El País

 

On the concert stage Ms. El-Khoury has joined many of the leading orchestras around the world including L’Orchestra Sinfonia Nazionale della Rai, the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester at the Grafenegg Festival for Strauss’s Vier Letzte Lieder, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Philharmonic under the direction of Emmanuel Villaume for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris for Rossini’s Stabat Mater as well as opening the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra’s season in a gala concert performance. She has given recitals around the world including the Amici Chamber Ensemble in Toronto and at the Al Bustan Festival in her home country of Lebanon, highlighting repertoire of Lebanese culture.

Ms. El-Khoury continues to be a cultural advocate for Lebanon, with many recent masterclasses at the Al Bustan Festival as well as mentoring young Lebanese singers through her teaching initiative Lessons for Lebanon.

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