“[This] Pennsylvania-born mezzo bids fair to become a world-class Rossinian. She has won raves in Toronto and at Glyndebourne in Rossini’s La Cenerentola, an opera that shows off both her lissom musicality and scrupulous accuracy.
As Hermia in the Met’s 2011 world premiere of The Enchanted Island [...] she stopped the show cold with her gleaming sunny and even voice hitting every note – even those taken at warp speed – dead centre”.
F. Paul Driscoll, Opera News, October 2012
Verdi Requiem / Boise Philharmonic
“Mezzo soprano Elizabeth DeShong sang expressively and beautifully.
DeShong, a member of the Metropolitan Opera company, elevated this performance to another realm.
DeShong’s honeyed mezzo came together with the strings and dissolved into achingly beautiful moments.”
Dana Oland, Idaho Statesman, November 2013
Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night's Dream / Met
Cond. James Conlon
“Mezzo Elizabeth DeShong sang the role of Hermia with smooth, velvety vocals, but it was the hilarity of her outrage during the couples' melee that stood out most.
Melanie Wong, Feast of Music, October 2013
…most memorably, Elizabeth DeShong as Hermia, her mezzo-soprano creamy and her acting memorable in slapstick and heartache.”
Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times, October 2013
Hansel in Humperdinck Hansel und Gretel / Lyric Opera of Chicago
cond. Ward Stare / dir. Richard Jones
“The title characters are outstanding. As Hänsel, Elizabeth DeShong is vocally stunning, addressing the score with note-perfect accuracy and a fine characterization of a young boy. Her diction was consistently clear—she sounded like a native German speaker—and the first act duets with Gretel were nicely balanced so that solo lines emerged effortlessly. In the third act, DeShong’s low range was nicely executed, with full sound and matching declamation”.
James L. Zychowicz, Seen and Heard International, January 2013
“For the dream-pantomime, Hansel and Gretel imagine themselves sitting down to a formal banquet served by 14 chubby, angel-winged chefs... DeShong and Kanyova blended voices beautifully here, their singing cushioned by the mellifluous sonorities Stare coaxed from the orchestra. [DeShong] had the acting chops to believably convey Hansel's physical awkwardness and mental cleverness [and] both Kanyova and DeShong commanded enough vocal heft to comfortably ride the score's rich orchestration”.
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
, December 2012
“A pair of Ryan Center alums made an inspired pair of title siblings. […] With her penetrating mezzo and rambunctious manner, Elizabeth DeShong proved just as convincing and vividly characterized as her [Maria Kanyova’s] bad-boy brother Hansel”.
Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review, December 2012
“the two leads, Maria Kanyova (Gretel) and Elizabeth DeShong (Hansel), have strong voices and dramatic flair — the pair brings the fun that Freud mentioned. They’re kids, from the moment the curtain rises on their breath-holding contest ...”
Neil Steinberg, Chicago Sun-Times, December 2012
“As throughout the season, the cast (in this case, all Americans) is both strong and fully balanced. Ryan Center alumnae Maria Kanyova, soprano, and Elizabeth DeShong, mezzo, each enjoying busy North American careers, are the gangly pre-adolescent Gretel and the boy-will-be-boy Hansel. And when I say “are” I mean are. They become the ages and genders of their characters for the evening’s full two hours and 20 minutes, and their voices are both beautiful and blend perfectly”.
Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times, December 2012
“Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong and soprano Maria Kanyova could not have done any better in the title roles. DeShong was transformative, quickly fooling me into thinking she was a young boy on stage, singing with the vigor and strength of a grown woman. Indeed, the vocal demands on the title roles are deceptively challenging. Kanyova and DeShong were able to appear childlike while still pressing their vocals above the large sound of the orchestra”.
Jonathan Rayfield, Splash Magazines, December 2012
“Elizabeth DeShong makes a splendid Hansel, looking and acting every bit the boyish explorer that the character is. [She and] Maria Kanyova [Gretel] are a mischievous and playful pair and vocally blend wonderfully well, especially in their tender prayer duet”.
Dennis Polkow, Newcity Stage, December 2012
Rosina in Rossini The Barber of Seville / Detroit Opera House
Michigan Opera / dir. Mario Corradi / cond. Suzanne Acton
"Chief among the production's virtues was its Rosina, Elizabeth DeShong, who gave ample evidence in what was her company debut that she is a genuine operatic force. Blessed with a splendid instrument that is rich and full from top to bottom. DeShong sailed through every demand Rossini made. Her coloratura was impeccable, her diction firm and clear. Best of all, DeShong seemed to know how to color her voice to project the various aspects of Rosina's complex personality, from coy to teasing to innocent to flirtatious to furious. Her "Una voce poco fa" was a textbook example of what Rossini singing is all about. DeShong was equally impressive in ensemble singing, managing to blend her voice with her colleagues' in brief numbers such as "Zitti, zitti, piano, piano" while still allowing her musical personality to shine through."
John Guinn, Opera News, December 2012
“Elizabeth DeShong is wonderful as Rosina. The mezzo-soprano’s vocal aerobics are exquisite. Her voice dances through an aria gracefully and precisely”.
Samantha White, The Oakland Press
, October 2012
“DeShong is a soprano with excellent range who is a classic operatic actress, wearing her flirty sexuality from hair to shoes without it being heavy-handed”.
David Kiley, Huffpost Detroit, October 2012
“Oh my, the voices! In the role of Rosina, ... American Elizabeth DeShong sounds like a real mezzo with deep, rich tones at the bottom. Short, with a mop of red hair ... she pouted, made faces and was just so good. Did I mention that her top notes were as fresh and free of static as her low ones?”
Michael H. Margolin, Encore Michigan, October 2012
Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong was terrific start to finish, revealing a plush voice, vibrant top notes and a thrilling and spontaneous way of flying through the coloratura fireworks.
... save DeShong, no one brought as much three-dimensionality to their roles as Pogossov -- or as much fancy footwork.
Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press, October 2012
Royal Festival Hall / Welsh National Opera Orchestra / cond. Gareth Jones
“Her Nacqui all’affanno al pianto was refulgent, every virtuoso coloratura moment richly expressive.”
Hilary Finch, The Times, July 2012
“Clean and terrifically articulated runs...”
Edward Seckerson, The Independent, July 2012
“Rossini came to life with the thrilling mezzo from Elizabeth DeShong...”
Mike Smith, WalesOnline, July 2012
Angelina in Rossini La Cenerentola / Glyndebourne
cond. James Gaffigan / dir. Peter Hall
“An absolute knockout … this is, quite simply, one of the great operatic performances. It is dominated by DeShong, whose voice combines a contralto opulence with blazing top notes and some of the most staggering coloratura you will ever hear…”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, May 2012
“DeShong’s singing was outstanding. Her voice is pleasingly dark and rich in timbre as well as brilliantly acrobatic when Rossini’s coloratura requires... One left feeling that Rossini doesn’t get a great deal better – or operatic pleasure more unalloyed – than this.”
Hugo Shirley, Opera, August 2012
“But when you listen to Elizabeth DeShong’s Cinderella sing, “If you really love me, be compassionate, let goodness through”, and something inside you doesn’t go a bit gooey, then opera is probably not for you… DeShong, an alto-ish mezzo with a voice as rich as those chocolate bars with 90 per cent cocoa, doesn’t just make Rossini’s music, fiendish coloratura and all, dance with pleasure and passion: she’s also a lovely, understated heroine”
Neil Fisher, The Times, May 2012
“…her natural presence and rich, plummy voice, which has an even, bell-like ring from top to bottom. She uses it confidently and expressively, in a way that masks a formidable technique, and you can’t help wondering what her Rosina Il barbiere di Siviglia and Isabella L’Italiana in Algeri would sound like. I want to hear them.”
Andrew Clark, The Financial Times, May 2012
“Elizabeth DeShong and Taylor Stayton are incomparable, her sumptuous sound balanced by his expressive tenor.”
Michael Church, The Scotsman, May 2012
“Vocally stunning, and shining with personality, American mezzo Elizabeth DeShong achieves power and sensitivity with her rich, focused voice, and dazzles with precise, fluent coloratura.”
Graham Rogers, The Stage, May 2012
“The American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong… looked perfect for Rossini's downtrodden but pure-of-heart characterisation, and her voice was superb.”
William Hartston, Express, May 2012
“Cenerentola, played by the American mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong, gave a powerful performance... with a stunning display of vocal range ... the greatest cheer and calls of bravo were reserved for DeShong, with much of the audience giving her a rousing standing ovation.”
Peter Cripps, Sussex Express, June 2012
“American mezzo Elizabeth DeShong as the title character stops the show time and again, with a security top to bottom and effortless coloratura that’s simply breathtaking.”
Simon Thomas, whatsonstage.com, June 2012
Hermina in The Enchanted Island / Metropolitan Opera
cond. William Christie/ dir. Jeremy Sams
“The four honeymooners are all terrific as well, especially mezzo Elizabeth DeShong as Hermia.”
Mike Silverman,Yahoo News, January 2011
“DeShong delivers an incredibly deep and full lower range in addition to nuanced tones.”
Susan Hall, Berkshire Fine Arts, December 2011
“Elizabeth DeShong made Hermia strikingly plush and spunky.”
Martin Bernheimer, The Financial Times, January 2012
“Another standout was Elizabeth DeShong, who brought a big, lustrous mezzo to Hermia.”
Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal, January 2012
Orsini in Donizetti Lucrezia Borgia / San Francisco Opera
cond. Riccardo Frizza / dir. John Pascoe
“Elizabeth DeShong as Orsini was marvellous. Her mezzo-soprano timbre is dark and dense, and gave puissance and solidity to a role that lacks a well-rounded characterization in the opera. Even at the moments when she was joining with the chorus, her timbre was audible and at the same time it melted harmoniously. Her duet with best-friend Gennaro was truly moving.”
Marina Romani, MusicalCriticism.com, October 2011
"Elizabeth DeShong’s elegant mezzo in the pants role of Orsini complimented …Fleming. DeShong at five feet with her hair cropped short made an interesting visual impact as the physically demonstrative, affectionate friend-until-death of the handsome bare-chested Gennaro.”
Cindy Warner, Examiner, October 2011
“The extremely short DeShong sings like a vocal giant. Her lowest notes have body and depth, if not earth-shaking gravity; her midrange is rich and compelling; and her highs are dispensed with a freedom that many a mezzo daily prays for. Her duet with Fabiano was nothing short of sensational, and her famed "Brindisi" in the final act elicited deserved cheers. You've got to hear her.”
Jason Victor Serinus, The Bay Area Reporter, September 2011
“Outstanding ovations were heard for lovely, cherubic-faced Elizabeth DeShong in the breeches role of Maffio Orsini, bosom buddy of Gennaro. She is believable as a diminutive, scrappy young man, and her mezzo is powerful and compelling with great access to the lower notes (the part is generally sung by a contralto). Her acting is superb in her scenes with Fabiano who is also an excellent actor, and they throw in a little gender-back-bending-switcheroo that had the audience gasping.”
John McMullen, Oakland CA
, September 2011
“Fleming’s portrayal was more than occasionally eclipsed by the sensational singing mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong as Maffio Orsini.
Pennsylvania-born DeShong, who looks considerably less than 5 feet tall, sings like a vocal giant. Her lowest notes have body and depth, the midrange is especially rich, and she propels her secure, full, and rounded highs with, to use one of my favorite critic's adjectives, aplomb. Her duet with Fabiano at the start of Act 3 was sensational, and the second verse of the famous 'Brindisi' a cheer-eliciting tour de force. What a pair!”
Jason Victor Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice, September 2011
“Pint-sized DeShong used her powerful voice with adventure.”
Janos Gereben, The Examiner, September 2011
“The trouser role of Orsini is sung by soprano Elizabeth DeShong, whose voice was limber as a gymnast and as creamy as a wedge of brie.”
Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News, September 2011
“As his boon companion, Maffio Orsini, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong gave an energetic and vocally forthright performance, and both singers reached their heights with a vivid, superbly delivered account of their duet in the final act.”
Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle, September 2011
Mafia Orsini in Donizetti Lucrezia Borgia
English National Opera / cond. Paul Daniel / dir. Mike Figgis
“…the completely delightful Elizabeth DeShong, who charmingly plays the young blade Orsini as a tomboyish cross-dressed girl with long golden hair.”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, February 2011
“Elizabeth DeShong, a young mezzo-soprano with a big, bright and pleasing voice, was wonderful as Orsini.”
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, February 2011
“[Elizabeth DeShong] has a spellbindingly thick, rich sound.”
Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, February 2011
“Elizabeth DeShong's Maffio Orsini coupled a rich, flexible mezzo-soprano with genuine dramatic presence.”
MusicalCriticism.com, February 2011
“Mezzo Elizabeth DeShong was making her ENO debut here as Maffio Orsini and did so in remarkably confident style.”
Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, February 2011
“Elizabeth DeShong was a rather thrilling Orsini, producing an exceptionally fruity mezzo that was luscious and full. The middle was rock-solid and the top stunning. The compass on display was exceptional, with the Brindisi a particular highlight – with a stunning ascent to a high note in the second verse… an impressive performance and one to watch out for.”
Antony Lias, Opera Britannia, February 2011
“Elizabeth DeShong's depth of tone impresses as Maffio Orsini.”
Colin Anderson, The Opera Critic, February 2011
“ENO-newcomer Elizabeth DeShong as the sexually confused Orsini [was] outstanding.”
Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, February 2011
“Some of the evening’s most sumptuous singing came from mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong in her ENO debut as Maffio Orsini. Rock-solid technique allowed her rounded and fruity tone to fill the Coliseum and extend right through her range (this role spans over two octaves) and during the second act she treated the audience to some absolutely breathtaking cadenzas. Hers is a completely electrifying voice – and one that should definitely be invited back to The Coliseum.”
MusicOMH, February 2011
“Elizabeth DeShong's Orsino (usually a travesty role but this time not) was industrious, captivating and clear.”
The Arts Desk, February 2011