One of today’s most sought-after lyric coloratura sopranos, Erin Morley has been praised for the silken clarity of her voice and the needlepoint precision of her coloratura (New York Times). Her performances have garnered huge critical acclaim and she regularly appears on the world’s greatest opera stages such as the Metropolitan Opera, Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Opera, Santa Fe Opera and Los Angeles Opera.
Highlights of the 20/21 season include her return to Wiener Staatsoper to perform a triple bill of her most acclaimed roles: Zerbinetta Ariadne auf Naxos, Tytania A Midsummer Night's Dream and Sophie Der Rosenkavalier, as well as returning to Santa Fe Opera. On the concert platform Morley joins Christian Thielemann and Staatskapelle Dresden on tour with a programme of Strauss’ Brentano Lieder and appears in recital in Paris together with Gerald Martin Moore.
Some of her highlights last season include Tytania in a new production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Wiener Staatsoper and Gilda Rigoletto at Bayerische Staatsoper. On the concert platform she appeared in the famous televised New Year’s Eve concerts with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann performing Princess Mi in Léhar’s Das Land des Lächelns. Morley was also invited to perform Gilda Rigoletto with Semperoper Dresden, Sophie in Massenet’s Werther with the Metropolitan Opera, Zerbinetta Ariadne auf Naxos with the Bayerische Staatsoper at the Hong Kong Arts Festival and Handel’s Il delirio amoroso with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Emmanuelle Haïm.
Further recent performances include Konstanze Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Sophie Der Rosenkavalier at Opera de Paris; Gilda Rigoletto, Zerbinetta Ariadne auf Naxos and Sophie at Wiener Staatsoper; Fiakermilli Arabella and Gilda at Bayerische Staatsoper; Lucia di Lammermoor in Nancy; Queen of the Night Magic Flute, Roxana Krol Roger, Mme Silberklang Der Schauspieldirektor and Stravinsky’s The Nightingale all at Santa Fe Opera; Zerbinetta in Glyndebourne; and Sandrina La Finta Giardiniera in Lille and Dijon with Emmanuelle Haïm. Another role Morley has made her own is Cunegonde Candide which she has performed in stellar company at LA Opera with James Conlon and actors Kelsey Grammer and Christine Ebersole; with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Phildalephia Orchestra with Alek Shrader, Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan; and at the Carnegie Hall Centenary with John Lithgow.
A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Morley has now sung more than 100 performances at the Metropolitan Opera and has been featured in five “Live in HD” broadcasts. She was hailed by critics as “a major success” when she stepped in last-minute to sing Sophie in an
entire run of Der Rosenkavalier in the 2013-2014 season. Since then Met audiences have also seen her as Sophie in Robert Carsen’s new production of Der Rosenkavalier; as Olympia Les Contes d’Hoffmann; as Constance Les Dialogues des Carmélites; and as Pamina The Magic Flute, among others.
Equally at home on the concert platform Morley has performed with leading orchestras such as Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. She has appeared on tour with Harry Bicket and The English Concert, Louis Langrée and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and with the Met Chamber Ensemble in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.
A dedicated recitalist, her appearances include recitals with pianist Vlad Iftinca (Salt Lake City’s Virtuoso Series, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, and Festival du Lied in Fribourg, Switzerland), and with pianist Ken Noda (at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Brigham Young University, and in the Alice Tully Hall Vocal Arts Honors Recital).
Her many recordings include Sophie in the Met’s GRAMMY-nominated Der Rosenkavalier on DVD/Blu-Ray for the Decca label; Sandrina La Finta Giardiniera with Emmanuelle Haïm in Opéra de Lille’s production for the Erato label; Woglinde Götterdämmerung in the Metropolitan Opera’s GRAMMY-award winning Lepage Ring Cycle for Deutsche Grammophon; Marguerite de Valois Les Huguenots, live from Bard SummerScape for the American Symphony Orchestra; Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3 “Espansiva” with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic for Da Capo Records; Sylvie in Gounod’s opéra-comique La Colombe with Sir Mark Elder and The Hallé Orchestra for the Opera Rara label; and Mahler’s 8th Symphony with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic for Deutsche Grammophon.
Morley spent her early years studying violin and piano, and frequently collaborated with her violinist mother. An undergraduate of the Eastman School of Music, she went on to earn her Master of Music voice degree from The Juilliard School and her Artist Diploma from the Juilliard Opera Center in 2007, where she received the Florence & Paul DeRosa Prize. Morley also trained at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist, the Ravinia Festival Steans Institute, and the Wolf Trap Opera Company as a Filene Young Artist. She won 1st Prize in the Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition in 2002, 1st Place in the Licia Albanese – Puccini Foundation Competition in 2006, 3rd Place in London’s Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in 2009, and received the Richard Tucker Career Grant in 2013.
New York Classical Review, April 2018
“Erin Morley is in a class of her own among coloratura sopranos, singing even the most dazzlingly difficult material with beauty and musical sense . . . The aria “Glitter and Be Gay” brought the show to a halt, as it should—she reveled in her warm-toned middle voice, milking the lament for all it was worth before vaulting through the sparkling coloratura with blinding brilliance.”
The New Criterion, May 2019
“As for Erin Morley, her Constance was, if anything, fresher, more endearing, and more poignant than before. At the end, the audience gave her the kind of ovation usually reserved for a leading lady, a star."
Platea Magazine, November 2019
“Rounding out a very careful third protagonist, the American soprano Erin Morley sang a textbook Gilda. Clear sound and extraordinary musicality, her interpretation admires the combination of security, style and containment, achieving a very natural and precise belcanto expressiveness. Her voice, perfectly blended with that of Tézier, offered some of the best moments of the evening, crisp and never overstressed. Her candid portrait of Gilda’s character managed to take the role far beyond what Schilling’s own production seemed to conceive beforehand."